T H E   W H I T E   H O U S E

Statement by the President: Appointment of the Chair and the First 10 Members of the White House Commission on Alternative Medicine (7/13/00)

Help Site Map Text Only

The Briefing Room
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release                                    July 13, 2000

                        STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

Today, I am pleased to announce the appointment of the Chair and the first
10 members of the White House Commission on Alternative Medicine.  This
commission, created by an executive order on March 8, 2000, is charged with
developing a set of legislative and administrative recommendations to
maximize the benefits of complementary and alternative medicine for the
general public.

Each year, tens of millions of Americans receive alternative therapies.
The great potential and possible perils associated with the use of
complementary and alternative medicine have been well documented.  There is
no doubt that these therapies should be held to the same standard of
scientific rigor as more traditional health care interventions.

If we are going to hold complementary and alternative therapies to an
appropriate standard of accountability, we need to invest in research so
health care professionals and consumers can make informed judgements about
the appropriate use of these services.  In that vein, we have worked with
Senator Harkin and a bipartisan coalition of members of Congress to
establish the NIH Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine to
invest resources in scientific analysis to make such information available.

But we need to do more.  We need to be able to use information about
alternative therapies to set the national agenda for the education and
training of health care practitioners in this field and provide
recommendations for advisable coverage policies for alternative therapies.

I particularly want to applaud the leadership of Senator Tom Harkin,
Senator Barbara Mikulski, Senator Arlen Spector, Senator Harry Reid, and
Congressman Peter DeFazio in advocating for and finding funding for this
Commission.  There is no question in my mind that we would not be making
this announcement without their tireless efforts.  I also want to thank
Secretary Shalala for her commitment to explore all avenues of scientific
discovery to help ensure that Americans have access to the most accountable
and responsive health care system possible.

As we enter into the 21st century, we need to get better information to
ensure American families have access to the best and most cost-effective
health care.  I know I join the Congress, the policy makers, and the
American public in saying how much we look forward to the results of the
commission?s work.


President and First Lady | Vice President and Mrs. Gore
Record of Progress | The Briefing Room
Gateway to Government | Contacting the White House
White House for Kids | White House History
White House Tours | Help | Text Only

Privacy Statement