April 24, 2014— The International Chiropractors Association (ICA) has responded to a malicious and damaging attack on chiropractic recently published by Forbes Magazine online, through its legal counsel, Swankin & Turner, a long established and much respected Washington, DC law firm. “This recent outrageous and prejudicial attack on the chiropractic profession requires an exceptional response,” said ICA president Michael S. McLean, DC. “Attacks on our profession from critics and competitors are commonplace and predictable but this recent piece, titled “New Medicare Data Reveal Startling $496 Million Wasted on Chiropractors” and written by Steven Salzberg, is so outrageously misleading and hurtful that we feel all of our legal options and protections must be explored.”
ICA is especially shocked by the highly prejudicial assertions about the risks associated with chiropractic care and the choice of outdated, misleading references for which compelling data to the contrary exists which clearly documents the exceptional safety and clinical effectiveness of chiropractic procedures. In his letter, James Turner, Esq, ICA’s general legal counsel told the Forbes editor:
The arrogance, ignorance and above all, prejudice displayed in Mr. Salzberg’s essay is rare in this day and age of universal availability of information on any subject from any source via the Internet. To ignore the mass of safety, clinical and cost-effectiveness data on chiropractic readily available to anyone bothering to search clearly indicates the intentions of this individual – to maliciously smear and to discredit for reasons that only he can explain. This organization would certainly have been happy to assist in any such search and we wish to go on record as making the resources of the ICA available to any Forbes writer should there be an interest in an objective, balanced review of any chiropractic issue.
ICA was also deeply disturbed by the characterization of all chiropractic expenditures in the federal Medicare program as “waste.” Mr. Turner expressly spoke to this concern in his letter on ICA’s behalf:
What is particularly offensive, indeed outrageous, is Mr.Salzberg’s characterization of chiropractic expenditures in Medicare as “waste.” This is especially the case as Medicare is not welfare but a program into which all working Americans are obliged to pay all their working lives. In this program, Medicare beneficiaries are entitled to choose the care pathway and services that they feel best meet their individual healthcare needs. The irrefutable fact that over many decades millions of Medicare beneficiaries have chosen chiropractic care as their preferred means to address their personal health issues is the best and most compelling evidence of the need for and effectiveness of these unique services. To presume to dismiss those millions of Americans as foolish and misdirected, because of their choice of chiropractic, showcases the malicious, prejudicial agenda of the writer in glaring and, once again, outrageous terms.
“It is ICA’s intention not just to express outrage over this article but to seek redress through every possible means,” said McLean. “This includes the opportunity to present the true facts on chiropractic’s safety, clinical and cost-effectiveness via the same venue utilized for the attack on our profession.” In recognition of the desire to present an objective, fact-based response, Mr. Turner concluded his letter to Forbes’ editor by stating:
It is our sincere hope that an apology from your publication will be forthcoming and that the opportunity to present an objective, fact-based and quite different view on chiropractic science and practice might be made available. We would happily accept both as a means to right what we feel is a demonstrable wrong done to our members and, ultimately, to the patients they serve.
ICA encourages all doctors of chiropractic and chiropractic organizations to express their feelings regarding this article directly to the Forbes editor. ICA will keep its members and the chiropractic profession at large fully informed of the progress of its efforts to secure redress with the Forbes organization. “ICA also urges all within the chiropractic profession to bring to our attention any prejudicial attack on the profession,” said McLean. “ICA will forcefully respond with the facts.”