Congress recently passed legislation, which was included as a provision to HR 5122 (National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013), that obliges the Pentagon to study the possibility of granting all members and formal members of the Armed Forces, their families and reservists access to chiropractic care. HR 5122 was passed by the House on the 29th of September and passed Senate the next day.
To secure passage of the legislation, the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) and the Association of Chiropractic Colleges (ACC) worked together with allies in Congress. According to Richard Brassard, DC, ACA President, “Both ACA and ACC believe that guaranteeing access to chiropractic care is paramount, especially to our troops overseas in harm’s way.” He also stated, “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.”
Frank Zolli, DC, Ed. D., ACC President added that: “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.” Zolli, in behalf of the chiropractic profession, thanked those who helped them for their cause; namely the Chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Armed Services committees, Senator Jim Talent, Representatives Jeb Bradley, John McHugh and Mike Rogers and everyone else who helped advance the legislation.
As of this writing, there are 42 medical treatment facilities in the military that offer chiropractic care to members of the Armed Forces, their families and reservists. Last year, the Air Force was directed by Congress to place chiropractors at 11 bases in the United States. Action by the Air Force is still pending.
HR 5122 is currently in the White House waiting for the signature of the President.
This is definitely good news for the chiropractic community. Dr. Henry Rice, a chiropractor at ChiroCarolina®, is very hopeful about the advancement of chiropractic care in the United States.