Earlier this year, four separate pieces of legislation were introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and one in the U.S. Senate that would expand patient access to the services provided by doctors of chiropractic in several federal health care delivery systems. It is very important that doctors of chiropractic and chiropractic students immediately contact their Member of Congress and Senators and urge that they cosponsor each of these measures.
HR 329, the Chiropractic Care to All Veterans Act, introduced by Rep. Bob Filner (D-CA), would require the VA to have a chiropractic physician on staff at all major VA medical facilities by 2014. It would also amend the current statute, the Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Programs Enhancement Act of 2001, ensuring that chiropractic benefits are included in the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations and therefore, cannot be denied.
HR 409, the Chiropractic Health Parity for Military Beneficiaries Act, introduced by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL), would require the Secretary of Defense to develop a plan to allow any beneficiary covered under TRICARE to select and have direct access to a chiropractic physician. The plan deadline is Aug. 31, 2011. Currently, only active duty members are afforded the chiropractic benefit.
HR 531, the Access to Frontline Health Care Act, introduced by Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA), would establish a new program that would help chiropractic physicians and other select health care providers repay their student loans if, in exchange, the providers establish and maintain practices in medically underserved areas.
HR 664, the Chiropractic Membership in the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps Act, introduced by Rep. Gene Green (D-TX), would also benefit the public and the profession by requiring the inclusion of chiropractic physicians in the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps. The Commissioned Corps 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.
S 1147, the Chiropractic Care to All Veterans Act, introduced by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), is the Senate companion bill to HR 329, above.