Bill Passes US Congress That
Shortens Timeline for Implementation of Chiropractic Program in the U.S.
May 22, 2003 the U.S. House of Representatives
passed legislation that included a provision to
step up the timeframe of the new chiropractic
benefit in the Department of Defense health care system.
This means that, if implemented, chiropractic care will be available to
the US armed forces sooner than originally planned. The bill has gone to
the Senate and is in the process of negotiations between the two houses.
This bill with the accelerated timetable is aimed at
full implementation of the chiropractic program by Oct. 1, 2005. Just
prior to the bill's passage, the chairman of the House Armed Services
Committee, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), and the chairman of the Total Force
Subcommittee, Rep. John McHugh (R-NY), wrote to every member of Congress
to urge support for passage of the accelerated bill. In their joint
statement they said, "HR 1588 (the bill) presents an array of
initiatives that improves the quality of the world wide health care
benefit for the men and women of our armed forces (whether active,
National Guard or Reserve) for their families and for retirees and their
There are still many hurdles and steps that have to
be overcome for this benefit to be enacted. There are forces within the
military bureaucracy that are opposed to the inclusion of chiropractic in
the military. However, with the benefit of having pilot studies that show
the cost effectiveness of chiropractic, (click
here for that story) and with the ongoing demand for chiropractic from
military personnel, it is inevitable that chiropractic will eventually be
fully included in care to the military.