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116th Congress  – Chiropractic Specific Legislation

Legislation put forward at the federal level in the United States of America.

The elections of 2018 brought significant changes to the US Capitol.  The U.S. House of Representatives now has a majority of members from the Democratic party and long-time California legislator Nancy Pelosi was installed in January 2019 as Speaker of the House.  Kevin McCarthy, also a legislator from California is the Republican Leader.   Advancing chiropractic is a non-partisan issue, and the ICA is thrilled to have supporters for chiropractic on both sides of the aisle. Republicans maintained their majority in the U.S. Senate. Senator Mitchell McConnel, a long-time Senator from Kentucky was re-elected Majority Leader while New York Senator Charles Schumer was re-elected by his Democratic colleagues at Minority Leader.  

ICA lends its voice of support to legislation that will advance the chiropractic profession, opportunities for chiropractors to participate equally with other health professions in the public sector, increase and improve access to chiropractic care for all Americans, and funding for research to advance our understanding of the benefits of chiropractic.

There are seven bills total as of June 2019 that reference chiropractic.  Several of these are not chiropractic specific.  

Medicare Legislation

H.R.2883 – Chiropractors Equity Act of 2019

Introduced by Indiana Congresswoman Jackie Walorski, H.R. 2883 seeks to correct the disparity in the Medicare “Opt-Out” provision by allowing chiropractors to provide items and services through private contracts with Medicare beneficiaries. 

As yet there are no co-sponsors. 

Congresswoman Walorski, a Republican who represents Indiana’s Second Congressional District is also the Co-Chair of the Integrative Health and Wellness Caucus.

To read the bill click here.

TRICARE Legislation

Matching Bills Have Been Introduced to Fill the Gap in Chiropractic Coverage for Uniform Service Members Who Are Not on Active Duty

These Bills (HR 344 introduced by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL) and S. 30 by Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) direct the Department of Defense to provide chiropractic health care services and benefits through the TRICARE program to uniformed service members who are not on active duty and to uniformed service retirees. (Active duty members of the uniformed services are currently eligible for chiropractic services and benefits through the Chiropractic Health Care Program.)  The Bill has been referred to the Subcommittee on Military Personnel of the House Committee on Armed Services and to the Committee on Armed Services in the Senate.

Why is this legislation needed?  Key provisions of the bill:

  • Chiropractic health care services and benefits to become a permanent part of the TRICARE program.
  • Requires that chiropractic services may be provided only by a doctor of chiropractic.
  • Eliminates mandate for a referral by another health practitioner – allowing eligible covered beneficiary direct access to a doctor of chiropractic.

H.R.344 – Chiropractic Health Parity for Military Beneficiaries Act Sponsored by Representative Mike Rogers (R-AL)

You can read the bill as introduced here.

Currently, 28 representatives have signed on as co-sponsors. * denotes original co-sponsor

Rep. Armstrong, Kelly [R-ND-At Large] 
Rep. Axne, Cynthia [D-IA-3] 
Rep. Clarke, Yvette D. [D-NY-9] 
Rep. Clay, Wm. Lacy [D-MO-1] 
Rep. Cleaver, Emanuel [D-MO-5] 
Rep. Finkenauer, Abby [D-IA-1] 
Rep. Fitzpatrick, Brian K. [R-PA-1] 
Rep. Flores, Bill [R-TX-17] 
Rep. Fortenberry, Jeff [R-NE-1] 
Rep. Graves, Sam [R-MO-6] 
Rep. Hartzler, Vicky [R-MO-4] 
Rep. Hastings, Alcee L. [D-FL-20] 
Rep. Huizenga, Bill [R-MI-2] 9
Rep. Loebsack, David [D-IA-2]* 
Rep. Long, Billy [R-MO-7] 
Rep. Luetkemeyer, Blaine [R-MO-3] 
Rep. McCollum, Betty [D-MN-4] 
Rep. Peterson, Collin C. [D-MN-7] 
Rep. Phillips, Dean [D-MN-3] 
Rep. Pingree, Chellie [D-ME-1] 
Rep. Pocan, Mark [D-WI-2] 
Rep. Reschenthaler, Guy [R-PA-14] 
Rep. Rutherford, John H. [R-FL-4] 
Rep. Smith, Jason [R-MO-8] 03/07/2019
Rep. Steube, W. Gregory [R-FL-17] 
Rep. Tipton, Scott R. [R-CO-3] 
Rep. Wagner, Ann [R-MO-2] 
Rep. Young, Don [R-AK-At Large] 9

S. 30 – Chiropractic Health Parity for Military Beneficiaries Act Sponsored by Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)

You can read the legislation as introduced here.

Currently, 7 Senators have  signed on as co-sponsor – * denotes original co-sponsored

Sen. Blumenthal, Richard [D-CT] 
Sen. Cramer, Kevin [R-ND] 
Sen. Klobuchar, Amy [D-MN]* 
Sen. Moran, Jerry [R-KS]* 
Sen. Peters, Gary C. [D-MI] 
Sen. Shaheen, Jeanne [D-NH] 
Sen. Tester, Jon [D-MT] 

 

H.R.2359 – Whole Veteran Act – Sponsored by Representative Conor Lamb (D-PA)

H.R. 2359, as amended, would require the Secretary of the  Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to submit to Congress a
report on the implementation of the February 1, 2019, WholeHealth Transformation Memorandum. The report would include an analysis of the accessibility and availability of relevant services with respect to the implementation of such memorandum,
an assessment of health outcomes, and an assessment of resources necessary to expand Whole Health to the VHA
enterprise. It would also require VA to produce a plan on the delivery of VA Whole Health elements to veterans living in areas without access to VA facilities.

This bill was introduced late in April and passed out of the House less than a month later.

You may read the enrolled bill here

You may read the House Committee on Veterans Affairs Report here.

You may read the Congression Record discussion on this bill here.

Why is H.R. 2359 Bill Important?

  • The Bill requires an analysis of the accessibility and availability of 14 different integrative health services including chiropractic at medical facilities of the Department of Veterans Affairs (including community-based outpatient clinics, vet centers, and community living centers).
  • The Veterans Administration is to conduct an assessment of the health outcomes derived from the services.
  • An assessment of the resources required to expand such services to the entire Veterans Health Administration.
  • Provide a plan to provide the services to veterans who reside in a geographic area where no community-based outpatient clinic, medical center, Vet Center, or community living center is located.

Currently, there are two cosponsors – * denotes original co-sponsor

Rep. Fitzpatrick, Brian K. [R-PA-1] 
Rep. Ryan, Tim [D-OH-13]* 

As of June 13, there is no Senate Companion Bill. A companion Bill is needed to pass into law.    However, there are provisions within S. 785 (discussed below) that are similar enough that theoretically if it should pass, the two could be merged through the conference process.  ICA will provide you updates as they become available. 

S.785 – Commander John Scott Hannon Veterans Mental Health Care Improvement Act of 2019 -sponsored by Senator Jon Tester (D-MT)

This legislation seeks to expand and provide oversight of mental health services provided to veterans, expand the veteran workforce, and prevent suicides. The provisions that are similar while not identical to that of H.R. 2359 include a requirement for the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to complete a study on the feasibility and advisability of providing complementary and integrative health treatments  (including chiropractic) at all facilities of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Currently, there are 30 co-sponsors – * denotes original co-sponsor

Sen. Baldwin, Tammy [D-WI]* 
Sen. Bennet, Michael F. [D-CO] 
Sen. Blumenthal, Richard [D-CT]* 
Sen. Booker, Cory A. [D-NJ]* 
Sen. Casey, Robert P., Jr. [D-PA]* 
Sen. Coons, Christopher A. [D-DE] 
Sen. Duckworth, Tammy [D-IL]* 
Sen. Durbin, Richard J. [D-IL]* 
Sen. Feinstein, Dianne [D-CA]* 
Sen. Gillibrand, Kirsten E. [D-NY] 
Sen. Harris, Kamala D. [D-CA]* 
Sen. Hassan, Margaret Wood [D-NH] 
Sen. Hirono, Mazie K. [D-HI]* 
Sen. Kaine, Tim [D-VA]* 
Sen. Klobuchar, Amy [D-MN]* 
Sen. Manchin, Joe, III [D-WV]* 
Sen. Markey, Edward J. [D-MA]* 
Sen. Menendez, Robert [D-NJ]* 
Sen. Merkley, Jeff [D-OR] 
Sen. Moran, Jerry [R-KS]* 
Sen. Murphy, Christopher [D-CT]* 
Sen. Murray, Patty [D-WA]* 
Sen. Peters, Gary C. [D-MI] 
Sen. Sanders, Bernard [I-VT]* 
Sen. Sinema, Kyrsten [D-AZ]* 
Sen. Smith, Tina [D-MN]* 
Sen. Stabenow, Debbie [D-MI]* 9
Sen. Sullivan, Dan [R-AK] 
Sen. Udall, Tom [D-NM]* 
Sen. Warner, Mark R. [D-VA]* 

With almost one-third of the Senate already onboard, it is likely this Bill will move. ICA will provide you updates as they become available. 

The following are Bills that mention chiropractic but are not focused specifically on Chiropractic.

H.R.1183 – Acupuncture for Heroes and Seniors Act of 2019 – sponsored by Representative Judy Chu (D-CA)

This legislation seeks to change several provisions of federal law to include acupuncturists services in programs to provide care for military members and military dependents, veterans, and Medicare beneficiaries.  It also allows for the appointment of qualified acupuncturists in the commissioned Regular Corps and the Ready Reserve Corps of the Public Health Service.  Chiropractic is mentioned but no provisions make changes to the laws affecting access to chiropractic.  To read the Bill as introduced click here.

H.R.2452 – Medicare for America Act of 2019 – sponsored by Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT)

This bill if signed into law would require the Secretary of Health to establish a  public health plan option that is offered in the individual market through the Federal and State Exchanges under title I of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to eligible individuals for plan years 2021 and 2022. There is a provision to include chiropractic in covered services.  To read the bill as introduced, click here

Last Revised June 18, 2019.

Please direct questions to Bclay@chiropractic.org

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