The Inaugural ASA National Conference

Over the last weekend, we had the incredible honor of serving as premier sponsor of the Inaugural American Society of Acupucturists National Conference.  The two day conference was attended by over 300 TCM leaders from across the country representing both Chinese-language and English-language organizations.  You can find presentations from ASA's many excellent speakers HERE. 

We had a great time speaking to customers, catching up with many of our distributors (including fellow exhibitors China Herb Co, Acu-Market, Golden Needle, and UPC), and introducing our new Pharmacy Starter Kits.  I also had the great privilege of addressing the audience to introduce Tianjiang Treasure of the East.  

The day after the conference was a congressional fly-in, in which conference participants visited their senators and congress people to lobby for legislation in support of acupuncture and Chinese medicine.  The two bills, as summarized by the ASA, are shown below:

HR 1182Acupuncture for Our Heroes Act
Sponsor: Rep. Judy Chu

This bill helps to codify both acupuncture and licensed acupuncturist services in the Veterans Administration. This bill has been introduced a number of times, and was reintroduced this congressional session, February 13th. Passing this bill will be a multiyear effort. At this time, the primary need is to help Congresswoman Chu obtain cosponsors for this bill. The more cosponsors a bill has, the more likely it will get a hearing, CBO Score, and eventually pass out of Committee. Getting co-sponsors that show bipartisan support of a bill is necessary to move a bill quickly through a committee. A recent effort garnered three co-sponsors: Rep. Robin Kelly (D-IL-2), Rep. Yvette Clark (D-NY-9), and Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY- 6). Bill HR 1183 is a much larger bill that would add licensed acupuncturists to Medicare. Ultimately, we hope to see passage of this, but it is a much bigger project. Garnering support for HR 1182, we hope, will ‘pave the way’ for successful passage of HR 1183, but we also need to see consistent support from the professional acupuncturist community before passage of this becomes likely.

HR 1959: Preserving Patient Access to Compounded Medications Act of 2019
Sponsors: Rep. Morgan Griffith & Rep. Henry Cuellar
Reintroduced in this congressional session with the original bipartisan sponsors, the current effort is to re-sign as many members from the original cosponsor list of 62 as possible, and to cultivate more support from Democrats. This bill has been assigned to the House Standing Committee on Energy & Commerce, so members of that committee are particularly critical.
For all of us on the Treasure of the East team at the conference, it was our first experience interacting with our elected representatives.  It was incredible to see all the training and logistics behind the scenes (handled with stunning efficiency by organizer, Kallie Guimond) and helped us see the greater role we have to play in providing better care for all Americans.