When the government is allowed to decide what treatment is appropriate for medical problems, bad things happen. Yesterday Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted a story about one particular incident and a possible solution.
TRICARE is the military’s healthcare program. It covers military personnel, retirees, and military families for all branches of the military. Rep. Tom Cotton is co-sponsoring legislation to make sure our military and their families get the care they need.
The article reports:
H.R. 1705, also known as “Kaitlyn’s Law,” would make sure that Tricare covers doctor-prescribed therapeutic exercises or therapeutic activities. When the doctors and therapists treating a patient covered by TRICARE agree that a particular form of therapy is needed, and can justify their decision on medical grounds, the patient would receive reimbursement for that therapy.
Kaitlyn is the child of a military family. She has numerous physical problems that cause her to be incapable of speaking or walking by herself. One of these problems is severe scoliosis. Without effective treatment, the curvature of her spine is so severe that as it increases her bones will pop out of joint and she will eventually be crushed; The challenge for her family was finding effective therapy. When conventional therapy failed, they eventually found something called “hippotherapy.” This involved riding a horse in circles to stretch her back muscles and force her to sit upright. The Pentagon decided that this was not a ‘proven’ therapy (despite the fact that it worked) and stopped paying for it.
The article continues:
In essence, then, the government takes the position that it will pay for physical therapy that wasn’t working for Kaitlyn, but won’t pay for the type of physical therapy that does work for her. And it took that position even as it admitted that there is reliable evidence supporting the value of “horse therapy.” In addition, Kaitlyn’s doctors presented sworn testimony as to its effectiveness on her.
Kaitlyn’s law would reverse this injustice, not just for her but for the many military families in need of need of hippotherapy, as well as other non-traditional modalities, such as a ball, balance board, barrel or bench. This tweak would not impose a new mandate on private insurance carriers. It would simply precludes military insurers from second-guessing the treatment choices made by doctors and therapists in the context of rehabilitative therapy.
Please follow the link to the article and read the letter submitted to Congress about this bill. We ask a lot of our military families–we need to take care of them.