Overview of ICA’s Advocacy Efforts
The International Chiropractors Association (ICA) was established in 1926 as an organization focused on advancing the profession of chiropractic through advocacy and development. Initial efforts focused on securing legal recognition and licensure for chiropractic in all US states and then. This was achieved in the United States through intensive organized state level legislation. Once accomplished, the ICA expanded its focus to seek and secure formal recognition of chiropractic as a doctor-level profession outside the United States. Simultaneously, the ICA ran a campaign to secure the inclusion of chiropractic in both public and private insurance programs and to secure the right of all beneficiaries to choose the chiropractic care pathway without referral from any other class of provider. These continue to be active campaigns and will remain the heart of ICA’s advocacy.
Promotion of legislation and federal regulations that will implement new national programs that are fair and open to chiropractic practitioners and patients in the US Congress and all US states and territories remains a difficult and daunting task. ICA recognizes and embraces a profound obligation to the profession and the public to continue to expand the rights of chiropractic practitioners and patients.
Medicine is the study of disease and what causes man to die.
Chiropractic is the study of health and what causes man to live.B.J. Palmer
The ICA Legislative Committee
In recognition of ICA’s serious commitment to ongoing legislative efforts, the ICA’s official By-Laws have chartered a permanent Legislative Committee to:
…supervise and direct the affairs of the Legislative Department subject to directive of the Board of Directors; The Legislative Committee shall formulate a program for proper recognition of chiropractic in the federal government of the United States; counsel and advise proponents of chiropractic legislation in all other jurisdictions.
The ICA Legislative Committee is currently chaired by our immediate past President Dr. Michael S. McLean. The Committee is comprised of experienced doctors of chiropractic from all areas of the United States who are actively engaged with their respective state and federal legislators and who closely monitor legislation in their respective states and in the US Congress. The Committee meets regularly to review emerging issues, challenges, opportunities and reports to the Board of Directors on needed actions. The Legislative Committee works closely with ICA’s Director of Government Relations Beth Clay and headquarter staff.
Public understanding of chiropractic as a true alternative to medicine is in jeopardy: At a time when national headlines are filed with stories about medical errors and the popular culture is searching for better, safer and more natural care pathways, the incorporation of drugs into popular understanding of chiropractic is counterproductive and will only serve to undermine the profession-wide efforts underway to break through to the public with a clear understanding of chiropractic as a separate and distinct approach to health and healing, free from the complications and errors of the current medical and drug-based system of health care.
Director of Government Relations
A Message from Beth Clay, Director of Government Relations
“ICA’s primary mission is to effectively represent the rights, concerns and needs of doctors of chiropractic and the patients they serve in the public policy process. ICA was founded as an organization to secure the rightful status of the chiropractic profession at all levels of government, worldwide. By combining and focusing power as individual health professionals, it helps increase the power and effectiveness of the chiropractic voice with legislators and policy makers. It is an honor and privilege to represent these efforts on your behalf and as a lifetime consumer of chiropractic care. I am excited about the changes I see on the horizon.
The ICA’s Government Relations activities in Washington, DC, are the first line of advocacy for our members. We educate legislators and policy makers at all levels of government about the chiropractic profession, the importance of chiropractic care, research outcomes,and how chiropractic’s unique, drugless approach to health and healing meets the needs of millions of patients of all ages every day. We deliver the message of ICA’s members about important issues related to policies, regulations, and legislation and offer viable solutions.
To broaden our reach and to collaborate within the profession, ICA actively participates in the Chiropractic Summit to advance common goals across the profession. ICA also engages with state associations to assist on state legislative and regulatory matters as needed. ICA engages with other health professions with activities such our participation in the Integrative Health Policy Consortium. Advocacy is relationship based. Developing and maintaining relationships with elected officials is vital.
Community engagement is another vital role in advocacy and is as important an engagement at the state and federal level. Many elected officials now serving in Washington, DC served in local and state office before being elected to a federal legislative position. For example, former Speaker of the United States House of Representative John Boehner started out on his county Board of Trustees (which is an organization like that of a county council). He then was elected to serve as an Ohio State Representative for five years before being elected to the US House of Representatives where he served for 14 years.
The ICA seeks to keep our members continuously informed about legislative, regulatory and policy matters. There are times when legislators need to hear directly from their constituent chiropractors and chiropractic patients. When these situations arise, we will reach out and ask members to make calls and writer letters. The rise of electronic communications, email, Twitter, Facebook, and other forms of social media have changed the landscape of advocacy. ICA is evolving with the times of social media communication and will maximize our messaging through these newer forms of communication. We will from time to time suggest our members actively utilize these tools to speak out and have your voice heard on pending legislation and policies.
International advocacy may be handled a bit differently, but ICA is engaged with our international colleagues in efforts to advance the profession worldwide. We often bring the depth and breadth of our expertise to the table when legislators or regulators in international jurisdictions have questions. It is my goal to see that every man, woman and child from Abu Dhabi to Alabama has access to well trained and professional doctors of chiropractic who are able to provide their services in a healthy regulatory environment that respects the value, benefit, and opportunity chiropractic care brings to the health services arena.
Please contact me at any time by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions and legislative concerns. I will promptly and happily respond.”
2019 State Legislative Updates Coming Soon
Under Construction – Coming soon