Chiropractic care is a critical component in the health and well-being of many people every day, and it is an important part of health care reform. Chiropractors have been working to make sure Americans receive access to their valuable services and benefits. The largest chiropractic organization in this country, the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), supported the passage of the Affordable Care Act (President Obama’s healthcare reform, “Obamacare”) in 2010. According to the White House website1, the key components of healthcare reform include “Stronger Consumer Rights and Protections, More Affordable Coverage, Better Access to Care, Stronger Medicare”. Politics aside, giving patient’s non-discriminatory provider access to chiropractic care was a key component of the ACA’s backing of healthcare reform.
The “Harkin Amendment” is the provider non-discrimination component of the law: “It has to be recognized as an historic first for the chiropractic profession. We now have a federal law applicable to ERISA plans that makes it against the law for insurance companies to discriminate against doctors of chiropractic and other providers relative to their participation and coverage in health plans,” said ACA President, Rick McMichael, DC.2 According to the Affordable Care Act: “A group health plan and a health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage shall not discriminate with respect to participation under the plan or coverage against any health care provider who is acting within the scope of that provider’s license or certification under applicable State law”.3
Chiropractors are Health Care Professionals
Doctors of Chiropractic can now be considered part of interdisciplinary community health teams. The National Health Care Workforce Commission, established in the healthcare reform law, also includeschiropractors.4 Chiropractors are now considered part of the definition of health professionals. The chiropractic-related sections of the law includes the following: “ensure that the health team established by the entity includes an interdisciplinary, interprofessional team of health care providers…such team may include…doctors of chiropractic…The term “health care workforce” includes all health care providers with direct patient care and support responsibilities, such as…doctors of chiropractic…The term “health professionals” includes…doctors of chiropractic…representatives of schools of…chiropractic…”5
For More Information on the ACA and the Affordable Care Act
The American Chiropractic Association has worked to make sure that chiropractors were represented in the Affordable Care Act6 and they continue to lobby on behalf of the chiropractic care and professionals. To read the law for yourself, please refer to the full official, searchable text7 or you can examine each section.8 For more information on the American Chiropractic Association, please visit their website.9