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Dynamic Chiropractic – January 12, 2000, Vol. 18, Issue 02

Clinton Signs Veterans' Millennium Health Care Act

Law Should Make Chiropractic More Accessible to Nation's Largest Integrated Health Care System

By Editorial Staff
President Clinton signed the Veterans' Millennium Health Care Act (H.R. 2116) into law on November 30, 1999. Within the legislation is a provision that requires the Veterans Administration (VA), the nation's largest integrated health care system, to develop a policy on chiropractic care for the VA within 120 days. The bill, in theory, should make chiropractic care more accessible to U.S. veterans. (See "Veterans Health Care Act Mandates Establishing Chiropractic's Role," DC, Aug. 23, 1999, or on our archives at www.chiroweb.com/archives/17/18/19.html).

The chiropractic provision in the act was included as a result of the lobbying efforts of the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) and the Association of Chiropractic Colleges (ACC).

The ICA has previously stated that "regardless of the outcome of this provision," it is "working on specific legislation that would mandate the establishment of a permanent division of chiropractic services within the VA, headed by a doctor of chiropractic," and requiring the hiring of permanent, full-time DCs in the VHA. The ICA also wants the VHA to "develop and implement an outpatient program for eligible veterans within one year."

During the debate on the legislation in the House of Representatives, there was vocal support for the chiropractic provision. "I am especially pleased that this legislation ensures that the Veterans' Administration will work with licensed doctors of chiropractic to develop a policy to provide veterans with access to chiropractic services," said Bob Filner (D-CA). "Even though chiropractic is the most widespread of the complementary approaches to medicine in the United States, serving roughly 27 million patients, and even though Congress has recognized chiropractic care in other areas of the federal health care system, the VA has chosen not to make chiropractic routinely available to veterans. This bill changes that."

"I have also advocated allowing more veterans to choose chiropractic care in the VA," noted Rep. Lane Evans (D-IL), ranking minority member of the VA Committee. "The Millennium Bill will require that the VA work with chiropractors on a policy that will allow veterans better access to their service within the VA. Veterans deserve the opportunity to choose chiropractic care."

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