Change is Good

By Mario Spoto, DC

If you surf the Internet for quotes about change, you will see a myriad of wise words. Some of these embrace change, such as Ben Franklin’s “When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.” Others resist change. “People are always telling me that change is good. But all that it means is that something you didn’t want to happen has happened,” says Meg Ryan’s character in the movie “You’ve Got Mail” after being forced to close her business because of the competition.

Regardless of what we think about change, it is inevitable. And with the recent passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, change in health care has been put in motion—and will ultimately affect every chiropractic patient and the practice of every doctor of chiropractic. 

While some may be disappointed about the overall legislative package and may cautiously await the implementation phase, the intent of the reform is good—to provide every American citizen with affordable health care and to put small businesses on a level playing field with big corporations when it comes to purchasing health insurance. The reform means potentially having millions of newly insured patients discover holistic chiropractic care. It also means putting DCs at the table in integrative care settings—something ACA has long advocated for through our efforts to bring chiropractic care to America’s veterans, military and seniors.

ACA has an excellent track record of delivering outcomes. Most recently, with the help of members and our supporters, we ensured the non-discrimination language in health care reform and restored DCs’ status as physicians in the Blue Cross Blue Shield federal employee plan. There are so many projects that need our attention, and there is so much more ACA could do—if only we had the support of a larger fraction of our profession. Just like many struggling chiropractic offices, ACA is understaffed and underfunded, and ACA’s leadership has to make difficult decisions about giving preference to some projects, to the detriment of others.

Some DCs say that they are not ACA members because they disagree with ACA’s philosophy or policies. They want ACA to change. To them, I can say only one thing—get involved! The only way to ensure change in others is by changing ourselves—and serving as role models and catalysts for more significant changes.

There are many ways members can become involved in ACA’s projects and initiatives. ACA has multiple committees that always welcome member volunteers willing to bring new ideas to the table and to devote their time to implementing these ideas, with ACA staff’s help. Members can network and exchange ideas and information through ACA’s listserv, as well as stay in touch with the chiropractic community on ACA’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Members willing to share expert knowledge in areas related to chiropractic practice—be it in practice management or clinical expertise—are always welcome to contribute articles to ACA’s publications and present educational teleseminars.

If you want ACA to change, join ACA and share your opinions, ideas and expertise. Go to www.acatoday.org and learn more about our membership benefits. If you are a member and you would like to offer your volunteer services, e-mail memberinfo@acatoday.org, describing the ways in which you would like to contribute. Your e-mail will be forwarded to the appropriate department.

As someone eloquently said, “If you don’t create change, change will create you.” Let’s create change and stay in control of our profession and our future. Together, we can build a more encompassing organization with the resources and the power to represent the interests of every doctor of chiropractic and every chiropractic patient in America.