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Dear single-payer activist:Sunday, August 29th at 8pm Eastern Time, join Healthcare-NOW!’s monthly single-payer activist call to discuss moving single-payer healthcare forward.

Please use this Dial-in Number 1-218-862-1300 and Conference Code 441086. To mute and unmute the line, please hit 4*.

Proposed agenda:

  • Update on Hands Off Our Medicare and the deficit commission – Katie Robbins
  • Candidate pledge/Bird dogging
  • March for Jobs October 2nd: Bringing the single-payer message – Donna Smith, National Nurses United
  • Update from Retirees for Single Payer
  • Update from Physicians for a National Health Program
  • Healthcare-NOW! November Strategy Conference
  • Open discussion

Please submit any additional agenda items or questions to

Looking forward to hearing you on the call!

For Improved Medicare for All,
Katie and Jeff
Healthcare-NOW! National Staff


mandala celticI am confused.  My understanding of bodyworkers in California getting state certified was so we wouldn’t have to pay every city or county we worked in!  How many other jobs ask that of their employees?  Does that mean I need to pay a business license fee (about $75 in Murrieta) if I work in Wildomar, Lake Elsinore, Escondido, Fallbrook, Menifee and Moreno Valley?  As it is many of us are getting paid less than we received when we started.  (In 1982 when I began doing massage therapy professionally, I would not accept work that paid me less than $30 an hour. ) And sadly, places like Massage Envy came into the area advertising $39 massages.  The public response is of course to expect that from any bodyworker.  I would be the first person to suggest people pay less money for healthcare and I hope we get a non-criminal health care system soon.   I hope massage therapy becomes covered by insurance, as it is all over the world.   This all feels wrong to me.  I will get back to you after I consult with the California bodywork certifying agency!

Leading the WayConsumers spend billions of dollars a year visiting massage therapists. In fact, studies show that patients make more visits each year to alternative care practitioners than to primary care physicians.

A survey by the Office of Alternative Medicine found more than a half of conventional physicians in the U.S. have recommended or tried alternative medicine. An osteopathic doctor here in Murrieta, CA, Laurie Blanscet, believes that massage therapy for fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue is invaluable. For general aches and pains, it is more effective than medicine and other therapies. She says, “I wish massage therapy was reimbursed because it is so effective. I think that doctors should be able to order massage as readily as say, physical therapy.”

So why isn’t massage reimmbursed?

Some believe insurance companies look at massage as frivolous. Others say it’s all in the name of business, and that massage therapy isn’t cost effective for insurance companies. “Insurance companies invest millions to make money for themselves,” said an occcupational therapist I know. She said that “local medical professionals have two or three people working primamrily to harass insurance companies until they pay.”

Progress has been made in California through the passage of the law that will allow a governing body composed of bodyworkers, instructors and other experts to certify massage therapists. This is a radical change from the on-going city by city massage ordinances governed by police that know little about the field. With statewide credentialing, it should be easier for insurance companies to understand, value and reimburse for massage therapy and other bodywork.

The White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine says it’s time for wellness and health promotion to be made a national health priority. The commission’s goal is to make sure health care be chosen not by whether it is cost effective for insurance companies, but rather on the basis of quality, effectiveness and need.