New Mexico "Chiropractic Drug Expansion" Bill SB 376 is Defeated in Senate Committee
March 13, 2015, Falls Church, Virginia: The controversial attempt at legislation that would have added the the widest possible range of authorities to administer new medical and pharmaceutical procedures by chiropractors, solely at the discretion of that state's chiropractic board, was defeated this week in the New Mexico legislature. The proposed legislation, having narrowly passed one Senate committee, was presented before the Senate Judiciary Committee in a process that included presentations made by large numbers of concerned chiropractors traveling from around the state and also multiple health care organizations expressing deep concerns over the bill on multiple issues. That evening, SB 376 was voted down by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
"Thanks to the diligent efforts of the principled chiropractors in New Mexico; their patients; a fantastic governmental relations team; guidance and support from the ICA; letters and information from Life University, Palmer, Life West, Cleveland, and Sherman; friends and concerned leaders from other professional communities: SB 376 was defeated on March 12th, thus killing this initiative for the current legislative session," noted Dr. Michael S. McLean, ICA President. "The teamwork, resources and extensive involvement applied to educating legislators and communicating our grave and legitimate concerns over the components of this bill helped tremendously, and ICA is proud to have participated in bringing light to these important concerns."
This controversial legislation sought to redefine the chiropractic profession as a "medical practice" by adding the term "medicine" at every appearance of the term chiropractic in the statute, an unprecedented, completely unacceptable and inherently confusing change. In addition, SB 376 sought to establish the authority to regulate chiropractic solely in the hands of the chiropractic board, over which little or no legislative oversight would have been provided should the legislation have passed. This lack of accountability and removal of the unique authority of the legislature to regulate the professions caught the attention of many members of the New Mexico Senate.
Throughout its nearly 100 years of service to the chiropractic profession and the public, the ICA has consistently sought to promote the science and practice of chiropractic as a drugless, nonsurgical, care pathway and believes the public is entitled to clarity between the professions. The defeat of this bill helps maintain both of those objectives.