Maine Voices Needed Now re: 4/11 Hearing – SUPPORT LD 364 and OPPOSE LD 1384
Urgent Action Needed in Maine Now to SUPPORT LD 364, “Safe Harbor” Exemption Bill, and OPPOSE LD 1384, Licensing All Holistic Practitioners!
A public hearing on 2 important bills which could drastically alter the future of complementary and alternative health care in the state – one positively (LD 364) and one negatively (LD 1384) – is scheduled for this Thurs., April 11, at 1:30pm in the Joint Committee for Health Coverage, Insurance and Financial Services. We desperately need your help convincing committee members to support the state’s natural health community by Passing LD 364 and Opposing LD 1384! Take Action Here!
Committee members need to hear from Mainers about how they should vote now and up until the upcoming committee work session (tentatively scheduled for Wed., April 17). Tell them LD 364, not LD 1384, is the way to protect your right to access the diverse practitioners and services of your choice. See below for more info on Thursday’s hearing and other ways to make your voice heard. Take Action Here!
We especially need calls and testimony from Mainers in the following municipalities (constituents of HCIFS committee members): Acton, Amity, Auburn, Bancroft, Bangor, Benedicta Township, Berwick, Biddeford, Buxton, Cary, Glenwood, Haynesville, Hermon, Hodgdon, Houlton, Kennebunk, Lebanon, Leeds, Lewiston, Limington, Limerick, Livermore, Lyman, Macwahoc, Molunkus Township, North Berwick, Orient, Portland, Reed, Sanford, Silver Ridge Township, South Aroostook, Standish, Topsham, Turner, Waterboro, Wells, Westbrook, Weston.
If the committee has questions or particular members are on the fence after the hearing, it will definitely be even more helpful and crucial to have this constituency sending additional comments to members before the work session! Help us spread this message to people you know in these areas!
Under current law, thousands of diverse complementary and alternative health practitioners (such as traditional naturopaths, homeopaths, herbalists and more) are at risk of facing charges for practicing medicine without a license when they provide their services. Both bills attempt to correct this but do so in completely difference ways: LD 364 offers them an exemption as long as certain conditions are met; conversely, LD 1364 forces them to become licensed and comply with onerous government-endorsed education requirements or go out of business, resulting in restriction of choice and access for consumers.
What the bills do:
Support LD 364 – The wonderful “Safe Harbor” Practitioner Exemption Bill protects freedom of choice to utilize services provided by practitioners of complementary and alternative health such as herbalists, traditional naturopaths, nutritional consultants, homeopaths, and many more. LD 364 would provide a state exemption from criminal charges of practicing a licensed health care profession without a license for those non-invasive complementary and alternative health practitioners as long as they avoid a list of prohibited acts (such as administering prescription drugs or puncturing the skin) and give out the proper disclosures listed in the bill. If LD 364 becomes law, practitioners will be able to provide their services without fear of being charged with practice of medicine without a license. Read LD 364, here. Support LD 364!
Oppose LD 1384 – The terrible Holistic Practitioner Licensing bill restrictively regulates all complementary and alternative health care practitioners and would have broad negative implications for consumer choice. LD 1384 would effectively ban the communication of information and recommendations of nutrition, dietary supplements, homeopathic remedies, essential oils, mind-body practices, and many other services and products that are successfully and safely used by practitioners in Maine and are in great demand by Maine consumers. It would impose unnecessary civil violations for all persons practicing their healing arts trades unless they are state licensed as a “holistic health practitioner”, a term the bill creates and broadly defines. We need to defeat this bill. Read LD 1384, here. Oppose LD 1384!
What you can do:
- Take Action here to email your legislators a message of support for LD 364 now! Please take a moment to add a personal note to your letter as this will have a greater impact with the legislators. Start building a relationship with your personal Senate and House Representatives. Your confirmation page will include a link to send a message of opposition for LD 1384.
- Call and visit committee members in Augusta to tell them to pass LD 364 and defeat LD 1384. Leave a message with each office letting them know why you support LD 364 and oppose LD 1384. Tell them 10 states currently have exemption laws similar to LD 364 and you want Maine to have one too! They need to get phone calls, receive personalized letters, and see you at the State House. More about making calls, including contact info, is below and on the Take Action links. Emails are not simply enough at this crucial time for health freedom!
- Prepare and submit your personal testimony to the committee in advance of the hearing on Thursday, April 11. A brief statement describing your support for LD 364 and opposition of the restrictive, mandatory licensing bill LD 1384 is so powerful.
Prior to submitting testimony, please consider reviewing these testimony guidelines and for additional tips and/or to get feedback on what you plan to say contact your fellow Mainers at Safe Harbor Maine. If you plan to testify in person at the hearing, bringing printed testimony is optional so do not be discouraged from testifying if you don’t have access to a printer. Written testimony can be bullet points or any form; it doesn’t have to be a written narrative. Just make sure the testimony is clear with the person’s name, town, and position on the specific bills.
In order for testimony to be included in the Public record, it needs to be either emailed before the hearing, or submitted in person at the hearing. Email testimony to the committee clerk, Veronica Snow, at HCIFS@legislature.maine.gov.
- Attend the hearing on Thursday, April 11 at 1:30pm in the Cross Building, Room 220. Your local advocacy team at Safe Harbor Maine needs as many of you as possible in attendance on Thursday to convince legislators that LD 364, and not LD 1384, is the better way to regulate complementary and alternative health care practitioners in Maine.
This group of practitioners and consumers of complementary and alternative health care is committed to providing the people of Maine with the options they deserve in pursuit of health and wellness. They are working closely with NHFA to pass LD 364 into law. Please check out their website and add yourself to their contact list or FB group, and consider donating your time, talent, or other resources to support their efforts.
- Spread the word about LD 364! Please forward this email to your friends and family so they can Take Action to support LD 364 too.
THANK YOU for your commitment to Health Freedom! If you have questions, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Making Calls to Strengthen Your Support of LD 364:
Contact info, below, is for HCIFS Committee Members only. Use info here to contact your personal legislators to notify them of LD 364.
Message for committee members:
“I support LD 364, An Act to Establish the Right to Practice Complementary and Alternative Health Care Act. Please ask [Senator/Representative] [Insert Legislator’s Last Name] to vote to PASS LD 364 out of the Health Coverage, Insurance, and Financial Services committee after it is heard on April 11th. [Insert a brief reason why you support access to complementary and alternative health care (i.e., I depend on complementary and alternative health care for myself and my family and I want Maine law to protect my rights as a consumer to a free and educated choice in health care providers. Thank you.”
That’s it! Hang up, thank yourself for being brave and engaged, and dial the next number!
Message for your personal legislators:
“As a constituent of [Senator/Representative] [Insert Legislator’s Last Name] I want [him/her] to know that I support LD 364, An Act to Establish the Right to Practice Complementary and Alternative Health Care Act. LD 364 has been assigned to the Committee on Health Coverage, Insurance and Financial Services. Please tell the [Senator/Representative] that I want [him/her] to please vote yes on LD 364 when it is heard on the floor of the [Senate/House].” “[Insert a brief reason why you support access to complementary and alternative health care (i.e., I depend on complementary and alternative health care for myself and my family and I want Maine law to protect my rights as a consumer to a free and educated choice in health care providers.)] Thank you.”
The minutes you spend contacting Legislators provides meaningful support to the women of Safe Harbor Maine who are meeting with legislators in Augusta about LD 364!
Committee Members to Call:
Sen. Heather Sanborn – Chair of Committee, D – Senate District 28
Rep. Denise Tepler – Chair, D – House District 54
Sen. Robert Foley – R – Senate District 34
Sen. Geoff Gratwick – D – Senate District 9
Rep. Mark Blier – R – House District 22
Rep. Michael Brennan – D – House District 36
Rep. Heidi Brooks – D – House District 61
Rep. Victoria Foley – D – House District 12
Rep. Anne-Marie Mastraccio – D – House District 18
Rep. Gina Melaragno -D – House District 62
Rep. Joshua Morris – R – House District 75
Rep. Dwayne Prescott – R – House District 17
Rep. Gregg Swallow – R – House District 144
Maine Health Seekers deserve to have maximum options protected for themselves as they work to explore their wellness and health. Click Here to Take Action and Support LD 364.