February 28, 2014 — Hundreds of chiropractic physicians, students, and supporters joined the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) in Washington, D.C. to visit with lawmakers on Capitol Hill as part of the 2014 National Chiropractic Legislative Conference (NCLC) and Education Symposium.
Doctors from all walks of the profession came to Washington to tell their stories and advocate on behalf of the patients they serve. Attendees urged lawmakers to support bills that would benefit patients, expand access to chiropractic services for veterans and active-duty military personnel, and help chiropractic graduates qualify for federal programs that would enable them to practice in underserved areas in exchange for student loan debt relief.
Keynote speaker, Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) — a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, and the Veterans’ Affairs Committee — discussed how his commitment to improving the health and quality of life of our nation’s veterans ties into his support for chiropractic.
“When we advocate for chiropractic, we are really advocating for patients, including veterans,” said Moran. “We must honor our commitment to provide for the military, including providing for their health care. Chiropractic is a way to provide for veterans and their communities.”
NCLC Plenary Speaker, Fabrizio Mancini, DC, an internationally acclaimed educator, philanthropist, and president emeritus of Parker University, shared his experiences promoting whole-person wellness, and how that focus will be essential in the formed health care landscape.
“Just because our health care system has a hard time fitting us in its box doesn’t mean we can’t serve that system,” said Mancini. “Chiropractic has what the new health care system is looking for. We get more results than most, we just have to share them with the public.”
Attendees also heard from the prime sponsor of the Chiropractic Care Available to All Veterans Act, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), who was part of a bipartisan coalition of senators responsible for including major portions of the bill in larger legislation that was recently sent to the full Senate for consideration; Rep. Bill Enyart (D-Ill.), a cosponsor of the Chiropractic Health Parity for Military Beneficiaries Act designed to further integrate the services provided by doctors of chiropractic in the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) health delivery system; and Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), a member of the influential House Energy and Commerce Committee.
ACA President Keith Overland, DC, in his opening address to attendees, focused on the importance of creating a level playing field for chiropractic physicians in order to improve the health and wellness of the American people and U.S. veterans. “Doctors of chiropractic offer safe approaches for helping veterans in pain, so your message to lawmakers is so important,” he said.
To complete the day, ACA will host a “Green-tie Gala” event to honor retiring Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), a long-time chiropractic champion on the Hill who is known for his penchant for wearing green ties.
Visit ACA’s website for video excerpts of the conference, and be sure to visit ACA’s Facebook fan page for photos, updates and videos from the conference. Twitter users can talk about the event using the hashtag #NCLC2014.