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House passes directive on chiropractic in military

Posted Jun 02 2008 5:03pm

The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a directive that orders the Pentagon to make chiropractic care a standard benefit for all active-duty military personnel. The legislation is contained in H.R. 5658, a bill authorizing defense programs in fiscal year 2009, and is based in part on recommendations from the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) and the Association of Chiropractic Colleges (ACC). The bill - passed by the Armed Services Committee on May 14 and the full House on May 22 - also contains language allowing for chiropractic demonstration projects at overseas military locations and clarifies that chiropractic care at U.S. military facilities is to be performed only by a doctor of chiropractic.

In 2000, Congress passed and the president signed a similar authorization bill, which contained language calling on the secretary of defense to develop a plan to get the chiropractic benefit to all active-duty service members To date, chiropractors are at 49 military bases around the country; however, according to a 2005 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, only 54 percent of servicemen and women eligible for chiropractic care can reasonably access the benefit. This most recent legislation shelves the plan approach and simply states that chiropractic care is a standard healthcare benefit. According to ACA sources, the House Armed Services committee also expressed concern that there were no doctors of chiropractic stationed at overseas military facilities. The language contained within H.R. 5658 allows the Pentagon to conduct demonstration projects to implement chiropractic care at these sites.

Source: American Chiropractic Association, www.acatoday.com

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