Assembly Bill 546 – Passed in the Assembly Special Session, February 20, 2020, the last day of the Assembly’s session. Additionally, Amendment 2 passed, while Amendment 3 failed and the decision of the Chair was upheld.
A voice vote for the full bill recorded the vote as bipartisan and regarded as a unanimous vote in favor. Watch the video of the vote here: AB546 Vote
Listen to the floor vote here:
AB546 Title: Providing complementary and alternative health care practitioners with exemptions from practice protection laws, requirements and prohibitions for individuals who provide complementary and alternative health care services, and providing a penalty.
English Translation? This Wisconsin Health Freedom bill will protect natural healers and holistic practitioners from being criminalized under the broad definition of ‘practicing medicine without a license,’ as long as the practitioner provides certain disclosures and avoids prohibited acts. By doing so, this bill will also protects choice for Wisconsinites. If AB546 becomes law, Wisconsin would join eleven other states to become the 12th Health Freedom state.
The week before the Wisconsin Assembly took up the vote, confirmation for the growing demand for alternative health options showed up on news stands. The January 2020 Time Magazine published a Special Edition on Alternative Medicine: The New Mainstream with a free downloadable pdf.
Then, the winter journal of Health Freedom News published a December 2019 article by Andrew W. Saul, MD, titled “No Deaths From Vitamins. None,” showing that supplement safety is confirmed by America’s largest database. The 2019 article featured a journal of Clinical Toxicology report showing no deaths from vitamins, minerals, or any other nutritional supplement, including homeopathic remedies in the previous year. See supporting data in Table 22B on pp. 1412-13 published.
Wisconsinites, like all Americans, are choosing complimentary and alternative healing alongside conventional medical modalities in high numbers, to the tune of $35 billion annually, out of pocket. Ironically, many do not know that holistic medicine was standard practice in the 1900s when homeoapthic hospitals and doctors were the mainstream.
Twenty years ago, the State of Wisconsin was featured in the March 2000 issue of the medical Journal of Family Practice, showing consumer demand for more (not less) alternative healing options.[i] Four reasons emerged as the basis for this: 1) Holism (whole person approach), 2) Empowerment, 3) Access, and 4) Legitimization. Since that time, many people have worked for health freedom legislation to be brought to fruition.
Thanks goes out to everyone who assisted in the effort to bring AB546 this far! To our authors, Representative Mary Felzkowski, Senator Tom Tiffany, and their staffs; the 17 co-sponsors of this bill; our lobbyists at Husch Blackwell; attorney Anne Gillum and Director of Law and Public Policy, Diane Miller, both of the National Health Freedom Action; the Wisconsin Health Freedom Coalition; Sunshine Health Freedom Foundation; to all the constituents who came out to testify, all who contacted their representatives via email or phone, and all advocates who came before to advance this legislation. It takes a village.
Congratulations to all Wisconsinites!
The bill now goes to the Senate where it will need to be voted out of committee to receive a floor vote, after which it goes to the Governor’s office.
[i] Barlett, B., L. Marchad, J. Scheder, and D. Applebaum, Bridging the Gap Between Conventional and Alternative Medicine, Journal of Family Practice 49, no. 3 (March 4, 2000): 234-9; available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10735483 (accessed June 15, 2017). https://www.worldhealth.net/news/prevalence_of_cam/
Rosanne Lindsay, Naturopath, Herbalist, President of the National Health Freedom Coalition, Member of the Wisconsin Health Freedom Coalition. Contact Rosanne at natureofhealing.org.