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Rep. Chu Introduces Legislation to Increase Access to Acupuncture

February 14, 2019
Press Release

Washington, DC  Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) introduced two bills to increase access to acupuncture in our healthcare system: H.R. 1183, the Acupuncture for Heroes and Seniors Act and H.R. 1182, the Acupuncture for Our Heroes Act. The Acupuncture for Heroes and Seniors Act permits members of the uniformed services access to qualified acupuncturist services without the requirement of a referral, requires that acupuncture services be accessible to all veterans and ensures that qualified acupuncturist services are covered by Medicare so that seniors have another effective treatment option available to them. The Acupuncture for Our Heroes Act requires that all veterans, regardless of where they live, have access to quality trained acupuncture services within the VA health system.. Rep. Chu released the following statement:

“Traditional Asian medicine has been treating a range of health problems for thousands of years. Even a recent Nobel Prize for Medicine went to a discovery that was rooted in Asian medicine. So it is no surprise that American demand for acupuncture to help with chronic pain, mental health issues, substance abuse, migraines, respiratory disorders, side effects from cancer, and many more illnesses has been increasing over the years. The Affordable Care Act helped to increase access by allowing states to cover acupuncture in plans on state health exchanges, but we must do more. It is my goal to make this treatment available to all Americans, which is why I introduced these bills. Seniors, service members, and veterans should not be denied the benefits of acupuncture because it is not covered by their health insurance. We should be doing everything we can to help these respected communities, instead of taking options off the table. This bill will not only help connect more Americans to the care they need, but it will also continue efforts to educate others on how effective acupuncture and Asian medicine are as alternatives or complements to Western medicine.”  

The Acupuncture For Heroes and Seniors Act can be found here. The Acupuncture for Our Heroes Act can be found here.