February 26, 2010 — Former House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt kicked off the opening session of ACA’s 2010 National Chiropractic Legislative Conference (NCLC) with the Chiropractic Summit this morning as hundreds of doctors of chiropractic and chiropractic students from across the country prepared to lobby legislators on Capitol Hill.
During his remarks, Gephardt emphasized the importance of educating members of Congress. “Your duty as a citizen is to inform your legislators about what you do and why your services are valuable,” he said. He went on to tell the attendees that chiropractic has an important role to play in health care reform and to be persistent. “Keep it up and you WILL prevail.”
Retired Gen. Becky Halstead, the first female general to command troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, also gave an inspiring speech at NCLC this year. She became emotional as she explained that she decided to become a spokesperson for the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP) to help the men and women still serving overseas.
“My way to remember them is to be a spokesperson for chiropractic and to get them the care they need,” she said.
Halstead, who suffers from fibromyalgia, said the military doctors put her on 17 different prescription drugs to manager her condition. It was after she retired that she found chiropractic, and the way to a better life.
“It’s not just about your head and your back,” she said of the benefits of chiropractic. “I come out feeling emotionally and mentally better [because I’m no longer in pain].” She added that she was surprised to learn that the military has had a chiropractic benefit since 2000 because she never had access to it — which underscores the need to expand chiropractic to all military health care facilities.
Key issues for the conference, set to run through Saturday, Feb. 27, concurrent with ACA’s House of Delegates meeting, include national healthcare reform, chiropractic expansion in the Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare delivery system, chiropractic care for military retirees and dependents, expanded access to chiropractic in Medicare and student loan repayment legislation that will improve access to healthcare. Look for more coverage in next week’s issue of Week in Review and the April issue of ACA News.
Source: American Chiropractic Association, www.acatoday.org