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As we cruise down the Affordable Health Care Act Highway, those of you that treasure control over your own body should be thinking twice, as more federal government insinuates itself into your body.

Just what do I mean by this? Am I against my fellow man/woman being assured a safety net of medical care? No!

But, I do not want to see the extreme right determining what a woman can or cannot do with her body. Likewise, I do not want to see the left decide what is good for me, whether I like it or not.

The government monopoly of mediocre bureaucrats are cruising the highway getting ready to shift into higher gears and waiting to sink their incisors into alternative therapies like herbs, vitamins, acupuncture, etc. Whether it is leftist academics or their tunnel vision or paid-off bureaucratic buddies in places like the FDA, their job is to keep you shackled to acceptable, "affordable" solutions that have been evidence-based, using their methodology for determining what works and doesn't work.

How many times do you hear "warnings" about the dangers of alternative medicines? Unproven horrors!

As the government enters into your life more and more, there will be less and less opportunity for you to express your independence to do something "crazy," like try a homeopathic or natural remedy for an illness that you might have. Your foray into alternative therapies will either not be covered by insurance or cost more than you can imagine because it will be taxed as a "Cadillac" program at at least 40 percent!

Were you to choose to use your Health Savings Account (HSA) with pretax dollars, anything above $2,500 will be taxed. So, the first thing is to make it harder for you to choose something out of the norm. The next thing is that, increasingly, you will see attacks on alternative therapies. "Dangerous! Unproven!" As the mediocre bureauracracy gets stronger, it will go on the offensive.

But, why all of this? Really, what real harm is there in acupuncture? Yes, nutritional supplements should meet better productions standards. Yes, some people have gotten very sick or even die from natural remedies. Yes, anything we can do to save a life is worth it. But, is that what this is all about?

The number of people actually harmed by alternative therapies is miniscule. So, is the goal to save lives? Hardly, all of this is to make the "affordable" days ahead more in line with what Mr. Obama and bureaucrats want: a homogenized America that is entirely dependent on drugs and technologies. Sure, there is more price and utilization control, but there will be 30 million more who will have access to drugs, drugs, drugs and tests, tests, tests!

To divert your attention from what this means, one strategy is to go after "unproven" therapies. Let me be more specific: Acetaminophen (the stuff in Tylenol) overdose causes more than 450 deaths due to acute liver failure each year in the United States, and this number appears to be on the rise. In 2001, a U.S. Acute Liver Failure (ALF) Study found acetaminophen responsible for 39 percent of cases. In 2003, the number had risen to 49 percent. Granted, kava-kava has killed nine people around the world (And in the U.S.? None!) and that is still terrible. But, why aren't we up in arms about acetaminophen with the same, if not greater, vigor that we are about kava-kava?

Well, because acetaminophen is as much "drug" money as cocaine, and no one is going after that! Rather than go down the list of pharmacologics that are really dangerous and kill a lot of people, you get the picture. Why talk about all the pain meds we use when we can attack a lowly herb made by a small factory in Idaho? You know Mr. Obama is not going to do that and neither, by the way, will Romney.

Why talk about how Americans -- including our military -- are "hooked" on antidepressants and anxiety drugs they do not need, when we can divert your attention to weight loss herbs that might (not proven but might) kill someone? Double standard?

Nope. Just diversion, a tried and true strategy.

Dr. Sam Benjamin, M.D. - Integrative Medicine, weekend show host

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