The Politics of CAM

The other day I was reading a publication by some “Critical Medical Anthropologists” (“critical” is an academic code word for “Marxist,” by the way). In it, they attempted to argue that “holistic,” natural, and complementary/alternative medicine (CAM) is a natural fit only for socialized medicine.

But the fact is, holistic health is not wedded to ANY political agenda. Particularly socialism. And the various ways CAM is viewed by U.S. partisan politics clearly exemplify that.

Some Conservative Republicans support CAM  under the banner of “health freedom.” And they oppose government restriction and restraint of trade. Thus, allowing Americans free access to healthcare products and services they want and are actually willing to pay for themselves. Without having a “third party” government program or insurance company foot the bill.

But other Conservative Republicans oppose CAM as further erosion of American identity in favor of “multi-culturalism” or unorthodoxy. (Despite the fact that much of what is labeled CAM today is also a home-grown part of our early, frontier American heritage.)  

On the other hand,  Social Democrats generally oppose CAM under the guise of “consumer protection.” Pushing this country instead towards  more and more of a nanny state that must protect innocent consumers from supposedly “unproven” remedies.

And there are also a few heroic Social Democrats (like Dennis Kucinich D-OH, Peter DiFazio D-OR, and Tom Harkin D-IA) who support CAM. And believe it represents progressive, cost-effective healthcare and true healthcare reform for a new age. 

Partisan politics aside, CAM has arisen and grown as a consumer movement throughout U.S. history. Unlike a socialist medicine regime, with CAM, individuals are free to choose their own health services, in a traditional fee-for-service medical care model. The emphasis on individuality in holistic healing also fits well with a free market economy.

So holistic, complementary/alternative medicine is most certainly NOT socialized medicine. But it is the only true healthcare reform. And the only real solution to our healthcare crisis.

But as I warned in “The Healthcare Reform Double Fraud,” don’t look to Obamacare to embrace it. As the biggest step toward socialized medicine ever, the last thing on their agenda is to advance natural healing.