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 doctor of chiropractic (DC).
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 chiropractic physicians and other select health care 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 health care 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.”
The American Chiropractic Association (ACA), celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2013, is the largest professional association in the United States representing doctors of chiropractic. ACA promotes the highest standards of patient care and professional ethics, and supports research that contributes to the health and well-being of millions of chiropractic patients. Visit www.acatoday.org.