Around the country, Blue Cross Blue Shield policies are denying chiropractic care for children under the age of 12. Labeling chiropractic care for children as "experimental and investigational," BC/BS is seeking to intimidate parents into believing that chiropractic care is not safe or effective for children.
Doctors of Chiropractic have been adjusting children for over 100 years. The reported incidence of malpractice with children is extremely minimal. As one chiropractic insurance claims adjuster told me, "In fifteen years, I have seen maybe five cases of malpractice involving children. Most of them had to do with the child tripping over the adjusting table or some similar type equipment related injury."
The current attempt by BC/BS to intimidate parent's right to choose is absurd, considering all of the on-going treatments their policies cover without question. Listed below are just a few current scenarios where questionable treatment protocols for our country’s children were established by conventional medicine without the sufficient documentation to substantiate their safety and efficacy. These services were accepted and covered without a blink and now current, published research studies are revealing the danger and ineffectiveness of these "approved" treatments." To add insult to injury to the consumer, these experimental treatments are still covered by insurance policies in spite of the new findings!
If your patients are faced with this apparent dichotomy in insurance policy coverage, their insurance companies need to know they are not willing to have their intelligence insulted and their right to choose denied. Change will come with consumer demand.
Unquestioned, routine procedures
The following scenarios are just a few examples where this double standard in health care coverage is revealed…
● Unnecessary flu shots: Last year there was a huge push for flu shots for infants. There was no data to substantiate it. Now, a new study, published in “The Lancet”, found that flu shots don't really work in children younger than two years of age. In addition, the scientists said they "recorded no convincing evidence that vaccines can reduce mortality, hospital admissions, serious complications and community transmission of influenza" in young kids.
The interesting point to note here is that without any scientific data for efficacy, the flu shot was recommended and paid for. Interesting to note is that the flu shot, like all vaccines, is considered "preventative medicine" and frequently chiropractic care is denied because it is preventative care.
● Leading Drug Company Deceives Parents: It was bad enough that the toxic substance thimerosal was ever put into vaccines without even testing its effects, however what is even worse is when it was finally exposed that it may be having adverse effects on children, a leading drug company continued to supply the infant hepatitis B vaccine, still contaminated with thimerosal, for two years after announcing that it had eliminated the toxin from the vaccine.
It was September 1999, in the midst of concerns about the risks of mercury in childhood vaccines, when Merck stated that the FDA had approved a preservative-free version of the vaccine. Despite Merck's news release that stated, "Now, Merck's infant vaccine line is free of all preservatives," the company still distributed the vaccine containing thimerosal until October 2001.
Again, it is interesting to note that in spite of the known toxicity of thimerosal and its presence in childhood vaccines, insurance companies continued to cover these contaminated vaccines without any control standards of safety for the covered vaccine.
● Ritalin and Cancer Risks: The rise in the use of Ritalin in this country is frightening. In an alarming study conducted at the University of Texas, researchers have discovered that every child they tested who was taking Ritalin (methylphenidate) developed chromosomal aberrations that have been associated with an increased risk of cancer.
The researchers tested 12 children before and three months after beginning a daily Ritalin prescription for treatment of ADHD. Every child experienced an increase in genetic damage that is associated with the development of cancer after taking the drug. In the words of the authors, "In every individual examined, there was a statistically significant increase in every genotoxic endpoint analyzed… for each of the parameters tested."
While there has been significant criticism and cause for alarm in prescribing psychotropic drugs to children, rather than a decrease of use, the amount of children taking these drugs has escalated in the past few years. With all of the literature cautioning its use, how can this be? Perhaps the accessibility of Ritalin and other drugs via "health" insurance coverage may be contributing to its frightening rise? It remains to be seen whether the insurance industry will act on behalf of our children's safety and question their routine coverage for these experimental and investigational substances.
Offer Parents Support
It is through public awareness and consumer demand that double standards are eliminated. The I.C.P.A. and its national public advertising campaign is reaching the consumer in numerous ways. To become involved, please visit our site at: www.icpa4kids.com.
Dr. Jeanne Ohm instructs internationally on the topic "Chiropractic Care for Pregnant Women and Children". She is executive coordinator of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association and can be reached via their website at www.icpa4kids.com.