Arlington, Va. – Hundreds of American Chiropractic Association (ACA) members met with their congressional representatives today in Washington, D.C., to advocate for expanded access to chiropractic services for veterans, among other issues, as part of the association’s annual meeting, the National Chiropractic Leadership Conference (NCLC).
More than 600 chiropractors, students and other supporters have convened in the nation’s capital this week to hear speeches from government leaders, receive advocacy training and urge elected officials to support pro-chiropractic measures that would expand access to chiropractic services for veterans at VA health care facilities (H.R. 103/S. 609) as well as for their families and retirees through TRICARE (H.R. 4973) and allow chiropractic graduates to participate in federal programs enabling them to practice in underserved areas in exchange for student loan debt relief (H.R. 1378).
Before heading to Capitol Hill, NCLC attendees heard from members of Congress who stressed the importance of educating elected officials about how chiropractors can enhance patient care, particularly for veterans. A 2017 report from the VA stated that more than 62 percent of Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn veterans who sought health care from the VA over a 14-year period were treated for musculoskeletal ailments such as back pain. As a result, many veterans struggle with addiction to prescription pain killers.
“The VA must adapt to new injuries,” noted Sen. John Tester (D-Mont.), ranking member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. “Your advice is important to let Congress know what veterans need.”
Tester also spoke in support of legislation that would make it easier for veterans to access chiropractic services from private chiropractic practices when their local VA health care facility is unable to provide treatment in a reasonable timeframe.
Also speaking at NCLC, Rep. David Young (R-Iowa), member of the House Appropriations Committee, discussed the importance of compromise in the political process while expressing staunch support for ACA’s initiatives to expand health care options for patients. “You are part of the solution,” he told the chiropractors and students assembled.
At an ACA Political Action Committee event the same morning, Rep. Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.) spoke in support of efforts to expand access to chiropractic services for seniors. He described the limited benefits currently available to seniors as an “outdated” and “antiquated” system. “Full chiropractic services should be a part of the Medicare program,” he said. “I will be supportive of you.”
To learn more about ACA’s legislative initiatives or to contact members of Congress in support of pro-chiropractic legislation, visit ACA’s Legislative Action Center at www.acatoday.org/advocacy.
NCLC is the premier national conference for chiropractors, chiropractic assistants and chiropractic doctoral students. The event brings together the best of chiropractic, including current and future leaders, by exposing them to important professional briefings, cutting-edge education programs and opportunities to meet with elected officials and colleagues from across the nation. Follow ACA’s Instagram story @ACAToday for real-time NCLC 2018 updates.
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About the American Chiropractic Association
The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) is the largest professional chiropractic organization in the United States. ACA attracts the most principled and accomplished chiropractors, who understand that it takes more to be called an ACA chiropractor. We are leading our profession in the most constructive and far-reaching ways — by working hand in hand with other health care professionals, by lobbying for pro-chiropractic legislation and policies, by supporting meaningful research and by using that research to inform our treatment practices. We also provide professional and educational opportunities for all our members and are committed to being a positive and unifying force for the practice of modern chiropractic. To learn more, visit www.acatoday.org, and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.