April 20, 2018—In April, the ACA wrote to Rep. Greg Walden, the chair and ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, regarding the need for alternatives to pharmaceuticals in any opioids-related legislation emanating from Congress.
In that letter, submitted by John Falardeau, senior vice president, public policy and advocacy for the ACA, Energy and Commerce is strongly urged to add chiropractic care to any recommendations it makes regarding steps to combat the opioid crisis. In support of this, the letter contains recent studies and research that validate chiropractic treatment for addressing both chronic and acute pain syndromes.
In keeping with past messaging, it urges lawmakers to consider nonpharmacologic approaches to pain management where feasible and, when not, to consider them in tandem with other forms of care. It closes by noting that in Walden’s home state of Oregon, the state’s health plan has included chiropractic as part of the solution to opioid overuse and fatalities.
Read the ACA letter here.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee is wrestling with a range of bills they’re trying to combine in a single piece of omnibus legislation. The ACA is working to get opioid guidelines and suggestions for conservative care approaches to pain management worked into the committee’s final draft.
In related news, Rep. Peter Roskam, chairman of the Subcommittee on Health on Ways and Means, is working on a Medicare bill. Roskam has been working with the ACA’s lobbying team and in recognition is receiving the ACA’s 2018 Healthcare Leadership Award.
As an indication of his influence, Ways and Means is one of the most powerful congressional committees, and it has jurisdiction over Medicare. At present, Medicare benefits for chiropractic are limited and the ACA is backing a strong push to get them expanded in upcoming Medicare legislation, and this is a move that has bipartisan support.
Roskam is sympathetic to the needs of Illinois’ chiropractic community. The DuPage County Board (representing metropolitan Chicago) created the Heroin/Opioid Prevention and Education (HOPE) Taskforce. This joint team, representing both the country board and the DuPage County Health Department, prepared findings and presented them to Roskam.
Source: Chiropractic Economics