Background: In the 2016 legislative session in Minnesota, a bill seeking to register massage therapists and bodyworkers has sparked deep concern throughout the health freedom community, among both practitioners and consumers. These practitioners have been enjoying freedom to practice since our state’s “freedom to practice” statute, Chapter 146A, came into effect in July 2001.Part of the beauty of what we’ve had is that there is a presumption for the myriad unlicensed practitioners, such as these, who are practicing under 146A, are not doing anything that poses an inherent risk to the public. Once registration is inserted into the profession, we begin to lose the presumption of basic safety and we start down a slippery slope towards licensure, meaning that all practitioners must be licensed, meeting certain educational and continuing education requirements, and insurance requirements, or else be shut down.
Already, even with this bill’s supposedly “voluntary” registration, there will be winners and losers: certain schools will obtain state approval, while others will not and will likely wither and die. Practitioners will fell pressure to go back to school or quit practicing if they cannot meet the new requirements for education, continuing education and liability insurance. Those practicing part time will be especially hard hit.
Further, municipalities will be free to require that those practicing there must be state registered; if dozens of towns and cities – or even hundreds of them – to this, how “voluntary” is this registration after all?
We urge our elected leaders to oppose this anti-freedom bill and thus allow our massage therapists and bodyworker to continue to practice undisturbed by this special-interest registration bill. See action alert, below.
ACTION ALERT Fate of Massage Registration and our Health Freedom Still Uncertain
Thursday May 19th 2016. The conference committee on the Supplemental Budget Omnibus Bill did not meet yesterday. Much remains to be decided in that bill and the issue of massage therapist and bodyworker registration remains yet to be decided. We are monitoring its meetings until it has settled the question of whether to hold to the house position, which is to exclude the registration bill, or to follow the senate’s position, which is to include the bill in the its final recommendation.
Our request to the four top legislators is still the same: we are opposed to the inclusion of massage and bodyworker registration and please keep it out of the supplemental budget omnibus bill. This registration bill is a new, invasive layer of regulation; it will tend to favor certain special interests at the expense of others in the profession. It is being promoted by the largest schools and other special interests that would surely profit from its passage.
Just a quick phone calls to these few leaders, listed here, will help us in the crucial days ahead. The final day of the session comes up on Sunday.
Rep Jim Knoblach, 651-296-6612
Rep Matt Dean, 651-296-3018
Sen. Richard Cohen, 651-296-5931
Sen. Tony Lourey, 651-296-0293
Governor Mark Dayton, 651-201-3400 from the metro, otherwise 800-657-3717
Thank you! Every call makes a difference!
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