As you know, political action is based on money and power, and if we as chiropractors want to be considered for all the opportunities we hope for under the new administration, we must consolidate our message and develop methods of harnessing the massive impact of chiropractic patients voicing their support for inclusion and expansion of covered services in national health care reform. The people clearly want it, but without a way to demonstrate support, chiropractic may suffer the consequences.
One way to mobilize the political power of chiropractic is to compile an effective e-mail list with addresses of doctors and patients, so any legislative efforts can be coordinated quickly and inexpensively. In order for this to work, doctors must be willing to collect e-mail addresses of patients and concerned citizens and pool them to amplify the effect. If each chiropractor provides 250 names and a mere 4,000 DCs participated, that would be 1 million e-mails letting legislators know the viewpoint of chiropractors and their patients. Obviously, more addresses and more chiropractors would create an even greater outcome.
With the impending changes in national health care, it's essential that chiropractors be willing to act on their patients' behalf. Simply go to www.chirovoice.com or www.adjustthevote.com (the legislative advocacy Web sites of the ACA and ICA, respectively) for information about how you and your patients can stand up and be counted for chiropractic. Patients can sign up directly on those sites,and will only be contacted for legislative reasons, with simple directions on how their voices as concerned chiropractic patients can be heard.
If you want to recruit patients to participate, here's a simple idea for encouraging them to declare themselves as chiropractic supporters. After their next visit, say something like this:
"[Patient's name,] one more thing before you go - our national associations are compiling a list of citizens who want to have their voices heard in regard to national health care. President Obama wants to make changes and we all know what happens when we don't get involved. If you want to be sure that chiropractic patients are included and your rights protected, please give me your name, address and e-mail and my staff will take care of it for you.
"About once a month you may receive an update on what is going on with health care. If there is a time when you will need to get in touch with your legislator, you will receive an e-mail with a link to their Web site. Then you can send a personal message to request that they vote to support your access to appropriate chiropractic care. We must send our message to Congress. This is important for all chiropractic patients, so thanks for your help."
Please step up for our beloved profession and the people you serve - it costs nothing, but it will surely pay great rewards.
Article submitted by the Chiropractic Summit leadership partners. Thus far, five summit meetings have convened under the auspices of a broad-based steering committee comprised of representatives of the four major participating organizations: Dr. Carl Cleveland III, past president, Association of Chiropractic Colleges (ACC); Dr. Lewis Bazakos, former board chair, American Chiropractic Association (ACA); Dr. John Maltby, president, International Chiropractors Association (ICA); and Dr. Jerry DeGrado, president, Congress of Chiropractic State Associations (COCSA). Medicare and the upcoming national debate on system-wide health reform have been the key focus of discussions at all five meetings.