woodrobin wrote:2. Health care cost reduction. That was funnier, taken seriously, than the original joke. When was the last time you ran into a doctor, hospital or insurance company that was interested in cost reduction through treatment? Any treatment, scientific or otherwise? Doctors and hospitals want to make money, and insurance companies have figured out it's easier to save money by denying coverage for treatment, either in whole by canceling coverage, or in part by excluding anything "experimental" or "unproven." In other words, it's cheaper to exclude entire types of health care than to consider or cover them, whether or not they're quackery notwithstanding.
There's another point here - most of the alternative therapies, particularly the bodywork therapies like shiatsu, involve much longer consultations than you get with a typical General Practitioner (in the UK). So the cost isn't necessarily lower. Even allowing for the fact that doctors have been through a longer training period than most alternative practitioners, I would guess that the cost of a trained person's time is likely to work out higher than a course of mass produced drugs. (By saying 'trained person' I'm not expressing any judgement about the value of that training.)