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.
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.
Coalitions are an often overlooked and commonly misunderstood aspect of the Washington D.C. advocacy fabric. Just like associations, there are many kinds of coalitions, each with a unique mission, membership, strategy, focus and style. Each brings together organizations, companies, associations and like-minded individuals to unite for a common goal. One influential and effective example is the Patients’ Access to Responsible Care Alliance (PARCA), a national coalition that represents the interests of millions of patients and non-MD/DO health care professionals.
Provisions of interest to chiropractors address student loans, small business loans, employee retention, and individual rebates.
Just before midnight on March 25, the Senate unanimously passed H.R. 748, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a $2.2 trillion economic relief package—the largest in U.S. history—in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The bill was then sent to the House of Representatives and on March 27, it was passed by a voice vote and sent to the White House where President Trump signed it into law (Public Law No: 116-136). The CARES Act contains several provisions of importance to the chiropractic profession and the ACA has prepared an initial summary.
The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) has long been a partner in the fight against opioid misuse by promoting and encouraging the utilization of safe, effective and proven non-drug approaches to pain management, such as chiropractic care. Recently, ACA has joined with national coalitions to promote chiropractic care as a viable, widely available and effective tool to the millions of Americans who experience chronic and acute pain each year.