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Dear Gov. Perdue: Just Say NO!

Dear friends and visitors,
This is a very different kind of blog post today, but it is an emergency situation. My home state of North Carolina is under attack.  The NC legislature is about to make it a felony to be an alternative health practitioner!

State Senate Bill 31 (SB 31) will make non-licensed health practitioners (naturopaths, homeopaths, herbalists, aromatherapists, some midwives and others) felons. Please contact Governor Bev Purdue’s office and urge her to veto it!

If you would like to read the bill, here is the link.

Folks, this is not a bill to protect the public from people impersonating medical doctors, nor is it about ensuring high standards of care. We already have those on the books and they are working well.

This is directly aimed at shutting down alternative practitioners who are not a part of the web we call the medical/insurance industry.

This bill has already passed one House vote and is most likely headed to the Governor’s desk. She will have 10 days to sign or veto. She sometimes acts quickly and sometimes not. Some have already asked that she delay a decision on this so that people can weigh in, as this was a sleeper bill that flew under the radar until now.  It could go through as early as TODAY!

We need your help at once — please call today!

If our voices are loud enough we might still stop this terrible injustice, possibly coming to your own location soon.

THIS STEALTH BILL HAS ALREADY PASSED with little or no mainstream notice. It was slipped through in committee, and has been overlooked almost completely by regular media.  Our last ditch hope is for Gov. Perdue to veto it.

Please call her NOW:

Local to Raleigh: 733-4240

Toll free: 1-800-662-7952

Please get as many people as you can to call the Governor’s constituent services office and urge for a veto. Please be polite and state your case clearly – you are asking Gov. Perdue to veto SB 31.

One of my friends, practitioner Diana Henderson, put together some talking points, which, for your further information I am including below. Regrettably, I fear the time for using them has passed.

When I talked to the Governor’s assistant, as soon as I told her I was calling about Senate Bill 31, she immediately knew I was asking Gov. Perdue to veto it.

Bad news: It may be too late to make a serious plea.  Good news: My call only took a minute.  You can take a minute, too, can’t you? It might make all the difference to thousands of much-needed, well-respected alternative practitioners.

PLEASE call now!

If you would like additional details about this, here you go:

1. Senate Bill (SB) 31, a bill to clarify the penalty for the unauthorized practice of medicine, is a terrible bill with unintended consequences [personally, I think the consequences are cynically and fully intended! – B.]

If SB31 becomes law, it will increase healthcare costs for everybody because it will shut down the option consumers currently have to seek care from alternative healthcare providers whose services are paid for out of pocket.

Most alternative care providers are not covered by insurance policies, and consumers who would proactively choose to pay for healthcare services out of pocket, will suddenly be forced to find MDs and make use of their insurance, thereby raising costs for all.

Alternative health care consumers actually provide a much needed pressure release on the rising costs of healthcare in NC. Shutting down their access to alternative choices in care will increase health care costs in NC, and this is bad for everybody.

2. Felony charges are completely unwarranted for professionals who have been legitimately helping North Carolinians for years. The significant unemployment it could cause simply due to fear of a felony charge is not included in the bill analysis.

3. There are already laws on the books to handle any injury caused by someone impersonating a medical professional. This bill is unnecessary and grows the government bureaucracy at a time when fiscal resources are already too thin.

4. Public testimony at the House sub-committee was not taken, which is outrageous, especially given that the room was packed, even though the meeting was moved with no notice.

5. This bill was under the radar and the public didn’t begin to become aware of it until its final committee meeting. Public upset is growing and it is imperative that the Governor consider our concerns.

Thanks for any and all help!

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  • April 5, 2011, 2:24 pm Cate (kerrdelune)

    Good grief…… This is appalling.

  • April 5, 2011, 2:33 pm Carey

    Hi Beth, I called. The friendly secretary sounds busy with calls! 🙂 I think the 800 number may be wrong, couldn’t get though so I called the local number. By the way, these calls make a huge difference. It worked in NY with a stealth bill regarding vaccinations for influenza.

    xxoo

  • April 5, 2011, 3:18 pm Beth

    Oh, thank you everyone.. This is encouraging to hear, Carey.. You always kind of wonder if it will be any help. By the way, that 800 number is correct. Don’t know why it wasn’t working for you.

    Keep up the good work! This is such crazy stuff.. seems like a lot of people that got elected last fall, instead of working on the REAL problems we are dealing with, are just out and out attacking the
    the people they supposedly represent. 🙁

  • April 5, 2011, 8:25 pm Juliaana

    Just an FYI for anyone who can’t get through……I went on Gov. Perdue’s web page and was able to leave an email message http://www.governor.state.nc.us/contact/Contact.aspx

  • April 6, 2011, 7:58 am Beth

    Oh, that’s excellent, Juliaana! Thank you!

    And it looks like the House has postponed the vote one more day (today, Wednesday), so this morning, you might be able to call your legislator and urge them to turn this down! Here’s a link to figure out who to call:
    http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/GIS/RandR07/Representation.html

    One more update for you… I have talked this morning by phone with my own district House representative, as well as (by email) the bill’s sponsor, Senator Mansfield of Cumberland County. Both are baffled by the outcry as this was NEVER meant to target or suppress alternative practitioners. You can read Sen. Mansfield’s thoughtful and detail reply to my email here.