Senators propose coverage for alternative medicine
Your back hurts, and you’ve tried a number of painkillers to relieve the pain. A friend suggests you try an alternative form of medicine to cure your ailment. Like everyone else, you are skeptical of the medical industry and the collusion of big pharma and doctors. You head over to an acupuncturist, who pokes you in various places in your body, and a few days later the pain disappears. Naturally, you incorrectly infer the reason you got better was due to the alternative therapy you tried.
It isn’t your fault you made such a rookie mistake. Our bodies naturally heal themselves, so we’re likely to credit whatever we’re doing at the time as being the panacea. Like most people, you don’t really understand how medicines are developed. You just assume that evil pharmaceutical companies and their enslaved doctors are trying to force dangerous drugs down your throat (I won’t deny feeling that way sometimes). Meanwhile, your homeopath is gentle, kind, and takes the time to really listen to your concerns. It kind of makes them seem like the good guys. It’s just too bad the stuff they do is complete nonsense.
You see, whenever they try to develop a new medical treatment, a number of studies have to be performed to determine if the drug has any effects. Scientists use the double blind test in order to avoid interfering with their own results. In the scientific world, the double blind test is the gold standard of reliability, and it actually works.
Alternative therapies are alternative specifically because they are incapable of even passing the most basic double blind test. Study after study has revealed there is no discernible effect from these therapies apart from the placebo effect. It’s why things like acupuncture, homeopathy, Reiki and others have not become ‘traditional medicine’. In science, we keep what works and discard what doesn’t.
Of course, there are still plenty of people who rely on these therapies to make a living. That’s why they must be ecstatic a number of US Senators are pushing to have these alternative therapies included in health plans. Heading this unthinking mob is Tom Harkin, an Iowa Democrat who thinks it’s high time the ‘discrimination against alternative healthcare practices’ ends. If he has his way, anyone licensed by the state to practice their ‘therapies’ could be fully included in people’s health care plans. If this goes through, it’ll be a good day for flim-flam.
Let’s stop thinking that the word ‘discriminate’ is a bad thing. To discriminate is simply to ‘to recognize the difference between; distinguish‘. Modern science has determined that alternative medicines have no basis in reality. Worst still, they continue to erode people’s confidence in modern medicine. Every year, poorly informed individuals choose alternative treatments for serious medical conditions, with the results often being dangerous or sometimes fatal.
If you want your stupid alternative treatment to be mainstream, all you have to do is prove it works using a double blind study. That’s it. If you can show that your medicine works, then it’s no longer alternative. See how simple that is?