What Does ACA Stand For?

By Michael Simone, DC

What does ACA stand for? What makes us different from other national chiropractic associations? First of all, we stand for you, our members. We stand for fairness. We stand for equality. We stand for ethical professional behavior. We stand for evidence-based/informed practice. We stand for chiropractic physicians being able to practice to the full scope of their training and within their state’s scope of practice. We stand for our military members, veterans and their families having access to our doctors. We stand for the public having unfettered access to our members— removing all barriers keeping them from getting the treatment they need. We stand for our members having the ability to help fill the primary care physician gap the nation currently faces— which will get much worse over the next decade. We stand for the free market—allowing our patients to choose their providers.

What separates us from many other national chiropractic organizations? Our name, for one, as superficial as it might sound. A U.S. senator once told me, in response to a question I asked about what influence other chiropractic organizations had in Washington, that senators deal withthousands of organizations and the ones with“American” as the first word in their names get immediate respect. Fortunately for ACA, the founders of our organization in 1963 chose the right name.

What else separates us from other chiropractic organizations? We respect our members’ right to practice what they have been taught and what is in accordance withtheir state laws. We have developed legislative and regulatory relationships in Washington, D.C., resulting in the political clout needed to get things done. Our Government Relations Department is fully engaged on Capitol Hill—over the years having developed key relationships that continue to benefit our profession each and every day. Our Insurance Relations Department is second to none and is not afraid to get in the trenches withthose who seek to put up barriers keeping patients from entering our members’ offices. There are no more dedicated doctor volunteers, who collectively donate thousands of hours of their time every year to work for you, than you will find in the ACA.

ACA is developing a vision, a vision we hope will be adopted by our profession, a vision representing the dreams we have for maximum utilization of our skills by all Americans, a vision that can set a pathto finally give the American public what they yearn for—a primary care provider they can be confident will manage their conditions utilizing the most conservative methods available. Our members are educators, researchers, members of the military, veterans, writers, holders of dual post-graduate degrees and politicians, plus they are involved in their communities—and all voluntarily agree to adhere to higher ethical standards. ACA staff understands our profession and the challenges we face and are deeply invested in our success. ACA is a large team, working as a close family, witha clear mission to bring our services to the 90-plus percent of our population who have been barred from using our services for a myriad of reasons.

What is the point of my message this month?

ACA is the future of our profession. No other chiropractic organization has done what we have done, can do what we can do; and no other major chiropractic organization stands for the freedom of our members to choose how to best treat their patients. We are truly the only game in town, and you should be proud you are a member—and I thank you for funding the future of our profession.

 

Published in the December 2012 ACA News.