March 21, 2013 — The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) announced that its work with key congressional supporters has resulted in several important pieces of pro-chiropractic legislation being introduced in the 113th U.S. Congress. These bills, if enacted into law, would increase patient access to the services provided by chiropractic physicians.
The first legislative initiative, the “Chiropractic Care Available to All Veterans Act”, was introduced in the Senate (as S. 422) by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.). Its House companion bill, H.R. 921, was introduced by Rep. Mike Michaud (D-Maine), a ranking member of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs. The bills would require the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to have a chiropractic physician on staff at all major medical facilities by 2016.
The second ACA supported bill is H.R. 741, the “Chiropractic Health Parity for Military Beneficiaries Act,” introduced by Reps. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) and Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa). This legislation would extend chiropractic services to military retirees, dependents, and survivors as part of TRICARE. H.R. 741 defines “chiropractic services” as diagnosis (including X-ray tests), evaluation and management, and therapeutic services for the treatment of neuromusculoskeletal health conditions. The legislation specifically notes that chiropractic services may only be provided by a chiropractor.
Another recently introduced bill — the “Chiropractic Membership in the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps Act of 2013” (H.R. 171), introduced by Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas) — would benefit the public and the chiropractic profession by requiring the inclusion of DCs in the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps. USPHS is an elite team of more than 6,000 well-trained, highly qualified public health professionals dedicated to delivering the nation’s public health promotion and disease prevention programs and advancing public health science.
The final ACA supported bill is H.R. 702, the “Access to Frontline Health Care Act,” which would establish a new program to help chiropractors and other select healthcare providers repay their student loans if, in exchange, they establish and maintain practices in medically underserved areas. ACA has worked closely with Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa), the sponsor of the bill, to ensure that chiropractic physicians are specified as qualifying for the program.
“Those who have made sacrifices for our country — especially veterans, active-duty military, and their family members — deserve access to the best healthcare available, which includes chiropractic services,” said ACA President Keith Overland, DC. “I am urging every chiropractic physician, chiropractic student and chiropractic supporter to contact their congressional representatives and urge them to cosponsor these bills and to help military families in need.”
Source: American Chiropractic Association, acatoday.org