Congress Orders Further Expansion of Military Chiropractic Program

After an intensive joint lobbying campaign by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) and the Association of Chiropractic Colleges (ACC), Congress has once again affirmed its desire to ensure accessibility of chiropractic care within the military and has ordered the Pentagon to expand the availability of chiropractic services to 11 additional military bases.

The new legislative provision, incorporated into a larger “must pass” bill known as the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), was cleared for the White House on Sept. 27 and mirrors a similar-sized incremental expansion as was approved in 2005. When the Pentagon fully complies with the congressional directive, chiropractic care will be available to active duty military personnel at 60 locations—up from just 10 military bases when chiropractic care was first approved on a pilot basis more than a decade ago. “Despite opposition by chiropractic competitors and an all too often unreceptive bureaucracy within the Department of Defense (DOD) health care system, we are making strides to increase the number of active duty personnel with access to much needed chiropractic care,” said ACA President Glenn Manceaux, DC. “Certainly, we are concerned that many of our brave men and women—particularly at overseas locations—are still without adequate access to chiropractic care, but we are heartened at the continued support we receive in Congress.” ACA and ACC would like to thank members of Congress for their support and for fighting for inclusion of this latest chiropractic provision in the NDAA, especially House Armed Services Committee Chair Ike Skelton (D-Mo.), Committee Ranking Member Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii), and Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.). “Given the DOD’s unsympathetic attitude, it is remarkable that any pro-chiropractic provision survived the legislative process and was included in the final version of this year’s controversial NDAA,” said ACC President Carl Cleveland III, DC. “Some at the DOD would like to limit the chiropractic program to its current plateau of 49 bases, but Congress continues to support program expansion and for that, we are very grateful.” This latest chiropractic program expansion marks the ninth time since 1992 that Congress has enacted legislation aimed at providing chiropractic care in a military setting. ACA and ACC are expected to renew efforts to further expand the program when a newly elected Congress takes office in January. For further information on chiropractic inclusion in the military, or to find out more regarding ACA’s ongoing legislative efforts, go to ACA’s Advocacy webpage at:

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