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Congress Passes Bill to Inspect Military Access to Chiropractic

by American Chiropractic Association | 10/19/2006 4:08:51 PM

Congress has passed legislation requiring the Pentagon to conduct a study on providing chiropractic care to all members and former members of the Armed Forces, their families, and reservists. The legislation was included as a provision in HR 5122, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007, which passed the House on Sept. 29 and the Senate on Sep. 30. The study must be completed and submitted to Congress by March 31, 2008. The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) and the Association of Chiropractic Colleges (ACC) worked jointly with key allies in Congress to secure passage of the legislation. “Both ACA and ACC believe that guaranteeing access to chiropractic care is paramount, especially to our troops overseas in harm’s way,” said ACA President Richard Brassard, DC. “I am confident that upon further review, the Pentagon will not only find chiropractic care cost effective and essential, but will move to expand chiropractic care to Tricare beneficiaries and reservists as well.” “The passage of this language is a victory for our men and women in uniform who deserve no less than the best health care this country can offer,” added ACC President Frank Zolli, DC, Ed. D. "The chiropractic profession extends a sincere thank you to the Chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Armed Services committees, and especially to Senator Jim Talent and Representatives Jeb Bradley, John McHugh, Mike Rogers and others who were instrumental in advancing this important legislation.” Congress expects the study mandated by the legislation to consider any relevant findings of an upcoming Navy research report designed to assess progress of the military chiropractic program and the efficacy and application of chiropractic health care services in reducing musculoskeletal disabilities among active-duty personnel. Currently, only 42 medical treatment facilities in the military health system, all within the continental United States, offer chiropractic health care services. Last year in a step toward full implementation, Congress directed the Air Force to place a doctor of chiropractic at 11 additional bases in the United States. The Air Force has yet to act on that order. HR 5122 has been sent to the White House, where the president is expected to sign the legislation. Click here for a copy of the bill. Go to section 712 (page 205), which deals specifically with the chiropractic benefit.

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