Dynamic Chiropractic – April 22, 2011, Vol. 29, Issue 09

New Legislation to Expand Chiropractic Access Introduced

By Editorial Staff

Two pieces of legislation aimed at expanding access to chiropractic services have been introduced in the House of Representatives and are making their way through Congress.

The Access to Frontline Health Care Act (H.R. 531), introduced on Feb. 8 by Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa), would "amend the Public Health Service Act to direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish a Frontline Providers Loan Repayment Program," designating doctors of chiropractic and other types of providers as eligible to receive loan repayments in return for establishing and maintaining a practice for at least two years in a medically underserved ("frontline care scarcity") area. The legislation mentions doctors of chiropractic in defining both frontline care services and the health care professionals providing those services.

"Many regions of our nation, particularly the rural parts of America, simply do not have sufficient numbers of qualified health care professionals to meet the needs of the local population," said ACA President Rick McMichael, DC. "This legislation would provide vital health care to underserved patients across the country, and it would also help newly graduated chiropractic physicians establish practices and repay their student loans." The ACA and the Association of Chiropractic Colleges were among the chiropractic advocates helping get H.R. 531 and H.R. 664, the Chiropractic Membership in the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps Act of 2011, introduced in Congress.

H.R. 664, introduced on Feb. 11, 2011 by Rep. Gene Green (D-Texas), "amends the Public Health Service Act to authorize appointment of Doctors of Chiropractic to regular and reserve corps of the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, and for other purposes, and mandates the appointment of at least six DCs to the corps no later than 90 days after enactment of the act.

"Both of these pieces of legislation are critical to the integration of chiropractic care in every federal health care program," said Frank J. Nicchi, DC, ACC president.

As of press time, H.R. 664 and H.R. 531 have been referred to the House Subcommittee on Health. Read the full text of both pieces of legislation and track their progress online at http://thomas.loc.gov.


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