President-Elect Barack H. Obama
To: President-Elect Barack H. Obama
Dear President-Elect Barack Obama,
We are physicians who share your vision for an effective, affordable health care system that strives to serve the needs of all Americans. From clinical experience with our patients, we are convinced that 'integrative Medicine' - integrating the best evidence-based therapies from all health care disciplines, not just from the realms of conventional drugs and surgery - will be a key factor in making that vision a reality.
We think our current, U.S. health care system is dominated by an expensive, cost-ineffective, allopathic medical paradigm, often using toxic, synthetic drugs and unnecessary surgical interventions. This conventional medical approach is largely fostered by financial and political relationships between the FDA and the multinational pharmaceutical industry, and such relationships are often in conflict with what is in the best interests of the public health and welfare. For example, published research reveals that over 150,000 Americans die annually from FDA-approved pharmaceuticals that have been prescribed and utilized according to their indications. These ‘iatrogenic’ (doctor-induced) deaths account for the fifth major cause of mortality in the U.S.
Preventive medicine should serve as the cornerstone of any new U.S. health care system because its prime directive is to prevent diseases before they occur. In the long term, teaching Americans how to take optimal care of themselves will improve the overall health and well-being of the U.S. population, decrease the need and demand for more advanced, tertiary medical care and save billions of taxpayer dollars that can be invested in other initiatives. We have seen from our own practices that having the conventional, allopathic medical paradigm alone does not provide the preventive health care that the majority of Americans need.
Just as you see the value and necessity of integrating alternative energy technology into the U.S. energy policy, we deem it equally vital that evidence-based, alternative health care modalities be integrated into the U.S. health care system. Such alternative approaches include Nutritional Medicine, Homeopathy, Naturopathy, Osteopathy, Chiropractic, Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, Massage Therapy, Herbal Medicine, Environmental Medicine, etc.
We, the undersigned medical doctors, have extensive experience practicing what we feel is the more balanced and gentle art and science of Integrative Medicine. We observe that the care we provide improves the long term health and well-being of our patients in a safer, more cost-effective and more disease-preventive manner, than if we limit our therapeutic offerings to only drugs and surgery. Therefore, we respectfully request that you incorporate Integrative Medicine modalities into any new U.S. health care policy once you take office in January 2009. We stand ready to be of assistance to you and Secretary of Health Tom Daschle in any way that we can. Thank you for your kind attention and we will look forward to your expedient response.
View President-Elect Obama's healthcare plan