The nation’s largest massage-membership organization, Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals, issued an alert on March 2 regarding new legislation introduced in New Mexico, and voiced its opposition to the bill:
New Mexico Legislative Alert
HB 664, sponsored by Representative W. Ken Martinez, would create “The Unlicensed Health Care Act.” The bill, similar versions of which have been enacted in a few states as a “health freedom” bill, would exempt complementary and alternative health care practitioners from licensing laws. In those states, however, massage therapy was not already regulated at the time the “health freedom” bill was enacted.
Bodywork, massage, and massage therapy are included under the definition of complementary and alternative health care practice along with a host of other modalities and practices.
If passed, the bill would render the existing Massage Therapy Practice Act essentially useless. Anyone would be able to practice any of the professions included in the definition of “complementary and alternative services” by simply providing a client with a disclosure document. The superintendent of the Regulation and Licensing Department would be authorized to promulgate rules as necessary to implement the law, including the imposition of penalties up to $10,000 for violations.
ABMP is opposed to HB 664. Professions already requiring a license to practice, including massage therapy, should not be included in the bill. We encourage you to contact Rep. Martinez and ask him to eliminate massage therapy from this bill.
Capitol Phone: (505) 986-4776
Office Phone: (505) 287-8801
To read the entire bill, go to http://legis.state.nm.us/Sessions/09%20Regular/bills/house/HB0664GUS.pdf