Action Alley
Quick, Easy Things You Can Do To Make A Difference
by A. Orange


Flash! Urgent Update — 17 October 2006

They are doing it again. Now they are trying to ram through another bill before Congress ends. Their new bill is called, "H.R. 1402, Paul Wellstone Mental Health Equitable Treatment Act of 2005".

(It is a real slap at the dead Democrat Paul Wellstone for the Republicans to name this abortion after him — just another snyde under-handed dirty trick.)

March 17, 2005

Mr. KENNEDY of Rhode Island (for himself and Mr. RAMSTAD) introduced the following bill;...

A BILL

To provide for equal coverage of mental health benefits with respect to health insurance coverage unless comparable limitations are imposed on medical and surgical benefits.

What that really means is that health insurance companies have to pay for 12-Step quackery passed off as drug and alcohol treatment.

Please follow the same steps as with H.R.1258 below. Just substitute "HR1402" for "HR1258". Help to stop them from ramming this corruption through in the dark of night.


Write to your Congressman or Congresswoman and your two Senators, and oppose H.R.1258, the "Time for Recovery and Equal Access to Treatment in America (TREAT America) Act of 2005".

This bill is just another attempt by the quack 12-Step treatment industry to grab more money for themselves. They try this every year. Their pet boy, Congressman Jim Ramstad, the most un-anonymous member of Alcoholics Anonymous in Congress, has introduced so many of these bills that it is absurd. They just won't quit, so neither can we.

If you wish, you can read more about this bill at the Library of Congress.

  1. Go to: http://thomas.loc.gov/.

  2. In the text box called, "Search Bill Text", near the middle of the page, enter "HR1258", and then select the "Bill Number" radio button under the word "SEARCH".

  3. Then click on "SEARCH".

  4. You will have available to you the full text of the bill, all of the gory details of how the quacks want more of your tax dollars and more of your health plan's dollars.

  5. Or you can use this link, to get the same information in another format:
    http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/D?d109:6:./temp/~bdgxJV::|/bss/d109query.html|


Send email messages to your one Congressperson and your two Senators, opposing this corruption, and this gross waste of money.

  1. Go to the U.S. Congress web site to post a letter to your Congressperson:
    http://www.house.gov/writerep/

  2. Pick out your state, enter your zip code, and then Click the "Contact My Representative" button. It will route you to the one Congressperson who specifically serves your district.

  3. Enter your name and address, and then continue.

  4. Type in a message asking your Congressman or Congresswoman to oppose H.R.1258.

    You can make up your own letter, or you can cut and paste this text, if you feel like it. This is what I sent to my Congressman:

    Hello. I am writing to ask for your "NO" vote on HR1258, the
    so-called "Equal Access to Treatment" bill.
    
    That bill is just another attempt to force government agencies
    and health insurance plans to pay for ineffective quack medicine
    — specifically for the failed "12-Step" treatment for alcoholism
    and drug addiction, which 93% of the treatment centers in the
    USA foist on their clients.
    
    The 12-Step treatment has been repeatedly proven to be ineffective
    and worthless, and even harmful.  See:
    http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-effectiveness.html
    for more details on that issue.
    
    It is blatantly illegal for someone to set up a cancer clinic that
    "treats" its patients with cures that are based on cult religion
    and quack medicine, and then to charge the government and health
    insurance plans for the patients' "treatment". It should be just
    as illegal to foist such quackery on alcoholics and addicts.
    
    I would also like to see you place an amendment in some bill or
    other that would require the FDA, NIMH, NIAAA, or NIDA, to do
    Randomized Longitudinal Controlled Studies of drug and alcohol
    treatment programs, to determine which work and which are a
    fraudulent waste of money.
    
    That wording is important:
    "Controlled" means that there are two groups in the test: One gets
    the treatment, and one does not.
    "Randomized" means that the patients are randomly chosen to get the
    treatment, or no treatment.
    "Longitudinal" means that the test goes on for a "long time", like
    preferably for a year or longer, to see how much holding power the
    treatment has, and what percentage of the "graduates" from
    treatment relapse after graduation.
    
    The effectiveness of the treatment is determined by comparing the
    outcomes of the treated and untreated groups, to see what
    difference, if any, treatment makes.
    
    The FDA, NIMH, NIAAA, and NIDA know exactly what "Randomized
    Longitudinal Controlled Studies" means. They won't have any
    trouble with that.  They test most new medications and
    treatments that way.
    
    Neither Medicare nor the health insurance industries should have
    to pay for ineffective treatment programs, or for voodoo medicine.
    
    If the FDA, NIMH, NIAAA and NIDA actually test the treatments for
    alcoholism and drug addiction that people have been paying for
    (and not getting cured by), and weeds out the frauds, fakes, and
    quacks, then perhaps we can move on to some other things that
    actually work, just for a change. And we can end a lot of criminal
    fraud. And we can save some wasted money.
    
    And it would be wise to put a criminal penalty in the law for
    tampering with or sabotaging the testing of the substance abuse
    treatments, or for fabricating false results. Considering the
    immense amounts of money that are at stake here, some people will
    be tempted to change the results by giving free drinks or drugs
    to "the other group", and causing them to relapse. There must be
    statutes barring such behavior, and penalties for such conduct.
    
    Another aspect of the needed changes is to require treatment
    centers to honestly report their success rates in their
    advertising, rather than the completely false statements that
    they issue now, like "80% of our graduates stay clean and sober",
    without revealing that only 10% of the patients ever "graduate",
    and without revealing that they only polled their graduates once,
    a month after graduation.
    
    Thank you for your time.
    


  5. And now go do pretty much the same thing with your two Senators.

    The Senate equivalent of HR1258 is S803. It is essentially the same bill but with "Senate" on the front of it. It is called the "HEART" Act, "Help Expand Access to Recovery and Treatment Act of 2005".

    If you wish, you can read more about this bill at the Library of Congress.

    1. Go to: http://thomas.loc.gov/.

    2. In the text box called, "Search Bill Text", near the middle of the page, enter "S803", and then select the "Bill Number" radio button under the word "SEARCH".

    3. Then click on "SEARCH".

    4. You will have available to you the full text of the bill, all of the gory details of how the quacks want more of your tax dollars and more of your health plan's dollars.

    5. Or you can use this link, to get the same information in another format:
      http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/D?d109:23:./temp/~bdwwcU::


  6. Go to: http://senate.gov/

  7. You will see a selection box that says, "Find your Senators". Pick your state. That will take you to a web page that lists both of them, and there will be links to "Web Form", which will allow you to send a message to each of your Senators.

  8. Send two messages, one to each of your two Senators. (Everybody has 2.) Click on one of the two "Web Form" links.

  9. Enter your name and address, and then continue.

  10. Type in a message asking your Senator to oppose the Senate bill S803.

    You can make up your own letter, or you can cut and paste this text, if you feel like it. This is what I sent to my Senators:

    Hello. I am writing to ask for your "NO" vote on the Senate bill
    S803, the so-called "HEART Act of 2005", and the House equivalent
    HR1258, the "Equal Access to Treatment" bill.
    
    That bill is just another attempt to force government agencies
    and health insurance plans to pay for ineffective quack medicine
    — specifically for the failed "12-Step" treatment for alcoholism
    and drug addiction, which 93% of the treatment centers in the
    USA foist on their clients.
    
    The 12-Step treatment has been repeatedly proven to be ineffective
    and worthless, and even harmful.  See:
    http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-effectiveness.html
    for more details on that issue.
    
    It is blatantly illegal for someone to set up a cancer clinic that
    "treats" its patients with cures that are based on cult religion
    and quack medicine, and then to charge the government and health
    insurance plans for the patients' "treatment". It should be just
    as illegal to foist such quackery on alcoholics and addicts.
    
    I would also like to see you place an amendment in some bill or
    other that would require the FDA, NIMH, NIAAA, or NIDA, to do
    Randomized Longitudinal Controlled Studies of drug and alcohol
    treatment programs, to determine which work and which are a
    fraudulent waste of money.
    
    That wording is important:
    "Controlled" means that there are two groups in the test: One gets
    the treatment, and one does not.
    "Randomized" means that the patients are randomly chosen to get the
    treatment, or no treatment.
    "Longitudinal" means that the test goes on for a "long time", like
    preferably for a year or longer, to see how much holding power the
    treatment has, and what percentage of the "graduates" from
    treatment relapse after graduation.
    
    The effectiveness of the treatment is determined by comparing the
    outcomes of the treated and untreated groups, to see what
    difference, if any, treatment makes.
    
    The FDA, NIMH, NIAAA, and NIDA know exactly what "Randomized
    Longitudinal Controlled Studies" means. They won't have any
    trouble with that. They test most new medications and
    treatments that way.
    
    Neither Medicare nor the health insurance industries should have
    to pay for ineffective treatment programs, or for voodoo medicine.
    
    If the FDA, NIMH, NIAAA and NIDA actually test the treatments for
    alcoholism and drug addiction that people have been paying for
    (and not getting cured by), and weeds out the frauds, fakes, and
    quacks, then perhaps we can move on to some other things that
    actually work, just for a change. And we can end a lot of criminal
    fraud. And we can save some wasted money.
    
    And it would be wise to put a criminal penalty in the law for
    tampering with or sabotaging the testing of the substance abuse
    treatments, or for fabricating false results. Considering the
    immense amounts of money that are at stake here, some people will
    be tempted to change the results by giving free drinks or drugs
    to "the other group", and causing them to relapse. There must be
    statutes barring such behavior, and penalties for such conduct.
    
    Another aspect of the needed changes is to require treatment
    centers to honestly report their success rates in their
    advertising, rather than the completely false statements that
    they issue now, like "80% of our graduates stay clean and sober",
    without revealing that only 10% of the patients ever "graduate",
    and without revealing that they only polled their graduates once,
    a month after graduation.
    
    Thank you for your time.
    


  11. Repeat the process of steps 8, 9 and 10 for your other Senator.


  12. You are finished, and you have done your good deed for the day. Now wasn't that easy?





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Last updated 17 October 2006.
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