Our thanks to Portland LMT, Marjorie Scarlett, for this report; she was assisted by Rosi Goldsmith, LMT.

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Affordable Care Act–Impact on Massage Therapy
by Marjorie Scarlett, LMT

Janet Kahn, PhD (and massage therapist) was the keynote speaker on the last day of the International Massage Therapy Research Conference, April 24-27, 2013*. Her talk was entitled “Massage in 21st Century Healthcare: Let’s Seize the Moment!” Dr. Kahn spoke about the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), which she helped to write. She spoke particularly about Section 2706 of the ACA, which requires — similar to the law in Washington state — that “every category of provider” is to be covered by insurance. That includes massage therapists, along with naturopaths, acupuncturists, chiropractors, and others.

By January of 2014, all states must comply with the ACA, but the form of compliance is to be determined by each state, and each state is mandated to provide an Essential Health Benefit package**. This means that the “window of opportunity” for influencing the outcome of Oregon’s package to include massage is now, and the time is short. What to do?
1. Get informed about Section 2706 of the Affordable Care Act.
2) Spread the word to other massage therapists and alternative healthcare practitioners.
3) Articulate your views to our state legislators.

Dr. Kahn emphasized that this is an important, determining moment for the role of massage therapy within the spectrum of healthcare.

Additional information, about the conference*, and healthcare reform**:
* http://www.massagetherapyfoundation.org/research-conference/

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