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06/09/2017

Bill to Include Chiropractors in U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps Introduced in U.S. House of Representatives

H.R. 2202, legislation that would include chiropractors as officers in the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps, has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Gene Green of Texas.

The U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, an elite team of public health professionals, is the federal uniformed service of the U.S. Public Health Service and is one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The mission of the Corps is “protecting, promoting, and advancing the health and safety of the Nation.” Currently, chiropractors are one of the few licensed providers not allowed in the Corps, which currently includes a wide range of health care providers, including MDs, DOs, nurses, dentists, veterinarians, various therapists, and more. 

“Chiropractic services are already used and highly valued by our nation’s active-duty military and veterans,” said ACA President David Herd, DC. “As the nation continues to struggle with the opioid crisis, H.R. 2202 will allow chiropractors to collaborate with other health care providers in the USPHS Commissioned Corps to bring a wider choice of conservative health care options to the American public. We extend our sincere gratitude to Rep. Green for his work in introducing this very important piece of legislation.” 

H.R. 2202 would include DCs in the USPHS Regular Corps and the Ready Reserve Corps, and would require the president, in consultation with the Surgeon General and the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, to appoint no fewer than six chiropractors to the Commissioned Corps. Although the Commissioned Corps includes representatives from many diverse health care professions, no chiropractors have ever been appointed to serve. 

As primary care, portal-of-entry health care providers, chiropractic physicians should be included in the Corps. Chiropractors are defined as physicians in Medicare, have been added as staff members at VA medical facilities, provide care to active duty personnel at major military treatment facilities, and provide services under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. There is no question that chiropractors are capable health care providers who are eminently qualified to participate in this important federal program. 

Get Involved!

As of May 11, 2017, no Michigan U.S. House members have signed on to co-sponsor this important legislation. To contact your House member regarding H.R. 2202 and other important federal issues, such as increased access to chiropractic care for veterans, chiropractic inclusion in the National Health Service Corps scholarship and loan repayment programs, and more, visit this LEGISLATIVE ACTION PAGE.  

Sources:
Text of H.R. 2202, retrieved on May 11, 2017
ACA Press Release, “Legislation Would Include Chiropractors in the U.S. Public Health Service,” May 3, 2017

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