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March 11, 2013 — Hundreds of chiropractic physicians, students, and supporters gathered in Washington, D.C. and then visited with lawmakers on Capitol Hill as part of the 2013 National Chiropractic Legislative Conference (NCLC) and Educational Symposium. For the first time, the event’s General Session was streamed live, online so that the entire profession could be a part of this important annual event.
In addition to speeches by government dignitaries, advocacy training and Capitol Hill visits urging support for measures that would benefit patients, veterans, active-duty military personnel, and chiropractic graduates with heavy student loan debt, this year’s legislative conference also celebrated ACA’s 50th anniversary.
ACA was established in 1963 with the belief that the profession needed one strong national voice to succeed. By partnering on NCLC 2013 with the Chiropractic Summit — a compilation of more than 40 chiropractic organizations — ACA was once again successful in bringing doctors from all walks of the profession to Washington to tell their stories and advocate on behalf of the patients they serve. This strong show of force will have a positive impact on ACA’s lobbying efforts in the months to come.
NCLC’s keynote speaker, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), chair of the Special Senate Committee on Aging and senior member of the Armed Services Committee talked about the winding road to passing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and the new ways in which chiropractic physicians can be a part the reformed healthcare community.
“Chiropractic care can be a key component to a multifaceted course of care for many patients,” said Sen. Nelson, a chiropractic patient since age 13. “The benefits of chiropractic are real and tangible, and it keeps me going at an unbelievable pace.”
Academy Award winning producer and director Don Barrett, debuted an extended trailer of the forthcoming PBS documentary, “Pain in America: The Silver Tsunami,” which explores the problems the healthcare system will have serving the 79 million baby Boomers who will turn 65 between now and 2029.
Barrett shared the powerful insights he gained while creating the documentary, which he says offers an honest, sincere look at chiropractic services. “It’s going to cost $15.7 trillion to ensure baby boomers from age 65 to the end of their lives,” he said. “It’s time for people to understand what’s coming to avoid bankrupting the U.S. healthcare system.”
Attendees also heard from Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.), senior member of the Energy and Commerce committee; Jeff Hays, producer of the film “Doctored”; Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa), member of the House Armed Services Committee; and Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.), member of the House Ways and Means Committee.
In his opening address to attendees, ACA President Keith Overland, DC, stressed the importance of educating legislators on how patients will benefit from integrating DCs into the reformed healthcare system. “We must use today to open the minds of our legislators to new ideas and new approaches-maybe even better ideas and better approaches-to our public health policies,” he said.
Source: American Chiropractic Association, acatoday.org