ACA Year to Date Update

  • In January 2018, President Trump signed into law the ACA-supported "Jobs for Our Heroes Act." The law includes a provision allowing chiropractors working within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to perform physical exams on veterans needing a medical certificate to operate a commercial motor vehicle. 

  • In February 2018, ACA was successful in getting "The Chiropractic Health Parity for Military Beneficiaries Act" introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill would expand access to chiropractic to military retirees, dependents and survivors through the U.S. Department of Defense TRICARE program. 

  • In March 2018, the President Trump signed into law an ACA-championed plan to expand access to chiropractic to American veterans. The approved language calls for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to expand the availability of chiropractic services at no fewer than two medical centers or clinics in each Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) by no later than Dec. 31, 2019, and at no fewer than 50 percent of all medical centers in each VISN by no later than Dec. 31, 2021. Currently, veterans have access to chiropractic services at more than 70 major VA treatment facilities in the United States--but nearly 100 VA sites offer little to no availability.
    • The new law also, for the first time, codifies chiropractic services in the VA to include services provided by chiropractors not only under "Rehabilitative Services" but also under the "Preventive Health Services" and "Medical" categories-which were previously closed to them.

  • In June 2018, ACA hired the Capitol Hill Consulting Group to add extra strength to its efforts to pass federal legislation that would grant parity to doctors of chiropractic by allowing them to perform to the fullest scope of their license in Medicare. This lobbying group has strong contacts within the powerful U.S. House Ways and Means Committee--which will play a vital role in helping any pro-chiropractic Medicare legislation to gain momentum in Congress.

    • Medicare parity is still the ACA's No. 1 legislative priority.
    • ACA's Medicare Equality Petition has almost 39,000 signatures to date.
    • The ACA Political Action Committee has been working closely with members of the House Ways and Means Committee this summer, holding campaign events and raising funds for the chiropractic supporters on the panel
  • In July 2018, ACA rallied chiropractic organizations from across the country to opposes a new policy by United Healthcare (UHC) that denied reimbursement for spinal manipulative therapy for the treatment of headache. ACA drafted a letter to the UHC President and CEO that eventually included the names of leaders from 41 national, state and regional chiropractic associations. This effort was pulled together in just a few days after the UHC policy was announced. The list of supporters continued to grow, day after day. In about two weeks, UHC announced that it would revert back to its original policy and continue to reimburse spinal manipulation for headache. ACA's swift action and the large, united force against the policy clearly got the attention of UHC. 

  • In October 2018, the president signed into law ACA-supported legislation that protects chiropractors who travel with sports teams by ensuring that their license and liability insurance remains in effect even when they cross state lines. Thanks to ACA, the Sports Medicine Licensure Clarity Act of 2018 was included in a larger, unrelated piece of legislation (R. 302) that passed the Senate overwhelmingly on Oct. 3. As the bill was being drafted, ACA lobbyists and volunteers worked closely with Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.), the chief House sponsor, and the House Committee on Energy and Commerce to ensure that doctors of chiropractic would be included in the bill's final language.

    • The original version may have excluded chiropractors from the list of included "sports medicine professionals."
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