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ALTERNATIVE HEALTH-CARE LEADERS TELL CLINTON TASK FORCE INSURANCE BARRIERS SHOULD BE LOWERED

 EVANSTON, Ill., March 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Leaders of alternative health-care organizations are telling President Clinton's National Health Care Reform Task Force it is time to lower discriminatory barriers against insurance benefits.
 Meeting with task force staff members in Washington, 23 alternative- care leaders said a wide range of barriers often result in benefits paying for unsuccessful treatments when alternative care is needed but not funded.
 "It is a paradox that individuals will receive insurance coverage for treatments they sometimes do not benefit from, but are not covered for alternative-care treatments they do get positive results from," Elliot Greene, president of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), told the task force staffers recently.
 Other leaders in alternative care attending the meeting included Dr. David Eisenberg of Harvard Medical School and seen on the PBS television special, "Healing and the Mind with Bill Moyers"; Dr. Joe Jacobs, director, Office of Alternative Medicine, National Institutes of Health; Dr. Viola Frymann of the American Osteopathic Association and the American Academy of Osteopathy; Dr. Herbert Benson, president, Mind/Body Medical Institute and author of "The Relaxation Response"; Robert Lehman, president, Fetzer Foundation; Janet Smith, president, National Wellness Coalition and others representing chiropractic, homeopathy, naturopathy, acupuncture, and holistic nursing.
 Alexis Herman, assistant to the president for public liaison, told the group, "You're on the cutting edge of (health-care) maintenance and prevention."
 Greene noted a study in the New England Journal of Medicine reports 34 percent of Americans use some form of alternative health care.
 But, Greene said, "After the health-care system has already paid out many dollars, the individual ends up having to pay out of their own pocket to get what they want. This is a factor that adds to the crisis of the nation's rising cost of health care."
 The AMTA is dedicated to the advancement of the art, science and practice of massage therapy in a caring, professional and ethical manner. The association's membership of more than 16,000 is drawn from each of the 50 states as well as several foreign countries. The AMTA maintains a national consumer referral service, supports a charitable foundation for research, scholarhips and community outreach, and sponsors a National Sports Massage Team.
 By educating professionals as well as the public about the benefits of massage therapy, the AMTA is working toward a shift from illness to wellness-based health care.
 -0- 3/25/93 R
 /NOTE: Greene will be available for interview. CONTACT: Keith Miller of the American Massage Therapy Association, 708-864-0123/


CO: American Massage Therapy Association ST: Illinois, District of Columbia IN: HEA SU:

KE-DH -- DEFNS1R -- 9423 03/25/93 09:20 EST
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Date:Mar 25, 1993
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