August Recess Provides Opportunity for DCs to Meet, Talk to Representatives About H.R. 2654
Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate are slated to head home to their districts and states starting July 30, In August, members will hold town hall forums, listening sessions and other public events (some in a virtual setting, others live), geared toward gauging constituent views and interests. Doctors of chiropractic are encouraged to seek out their federal legislators at these events to begin establishing a relationship, or strengthening an existing one, with their lawmaker's office.
In this post, ACA President Michele Maiers, DC, MPH, PhD, shares recent progress made toward ACA’s strategic goals. She writes, “With the backdrop of a global pandemic, it is an understatement to say that the past year has presented a few challenges to the American Chiropractic Association and its members. But what could have been a year lost has turned out to be a year of gains. This is no coincidence: ACA’s leadership, members and staff pulled together, adapting in large ways and small, to ensure there would be progress toward the goals that support our Strategic Plan."
A virtual force of advocates landed on Capitol Hill May 6 for ACA’s Advocacy Day. About 350 doctors of chiropractic and students—armed with data as well as stories of patients who have benefitted from chiropractic care—entered the halls of Congress via virtual meetings to urge support for H.R. 2654, the Chiropractic Medicare Modernization Act. The bill was introduced in late April with 16 original cosponsors, but thanks to the efforts of the chiropractic advocates it won additional support and, to date, features 43 congressional cosponsors.
With the new year and the first session of the 117th Congress now underway, the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) is ready to tackle several important legislative issues on behalf of ACA members, patients and the chiropractic profession. The ACA Legislative Committee met recently and established priorities for the new congressional session.
For those familiar with “Schoolhouse Rock,” the 1976 classic “I’m Just a Bill” likely conjures memories of elementary school social studies class. It is, however, still an excellent introduction to the legislative process and a reminder that introducing legislation in Congress is no small feat.
In a COVID-19 relief and federal spending package passed earlier this week by a bipartisan group of U.S. House and Senate lawmakers, several important items that the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) lobby team has been pushing for have been included in the measure.
In 2009-2010, the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) was heavily involved in procuring a provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) that would end the blatant discrimination doctors of chiropractic and other providers encountered from insurance companies and plans just because of their doctoral degree. Chiropractors, especially, faced, and continue to experience, discriminatory practices from payors that ultimately harm patient choice, access, and affordability. Congressional interest in addressing this issue has been tepid...until this week.
Recently, the U.S. Treasury Department and the Small Business Administration (SBA) released a simplified forgiveness application for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans under $50,000. The simplified form cuts the application’s size down from five pages to two and removes most of the questions aimed at ensuring that the loans were used for the program’s intended purposes of supporting payrolls and covering other fixed costs.
On Thursday, Oct. 29, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) unveiled final policies aimed at increasing price transparency in the healthcare system. The new rule will require health insurers to provide patients with complete pricing information prior to a service being rendered and builds off an earlier price transparency rule that requires hospitals to publish their negotiated rates. While this could be viewed as a win for healthcare consumers, ACA has its eyes on a bigger prize, and that is to strip insurance companies of their ability to skirt this country’s antitrust laws.
Federal government relations is a complex and exciting field, especially for membership associations such as the American Chiropractic Association (ACA). Not only do we represent our dedicated ACA members, but also their patients and, as an extension, the more than 30 million Americans who receive chiropractic care each year. A critical component of ACA’s government relations work is safeguarding and advancing public trust in chiropractic—and this is at the forefront of our work with policymakers.