Doctors of chiropractic now make up over 60,000 licensed professionals in all fifty states, and care for millions of Americans every year. Almost a quarter of Iowans receive quality chiropractic care every year. As you know, chiropractic care is low-cost, drug-free, noninvasive, and has been shown to have a positive impact on patients’ health. I believe steps should be taken to acknowledge the important care chiropractors provide and knock down unreasonable barriers of access and discriminatory insurance coverage that stand between so many patients and the care they need.
I have a plan to support doctors of chiropractic. First, I support expanding the range of chiropractic services covered by Medicare. Medicare currently provides reimbursement only for chiropractic adjustments, even though doctors of chiropractic are trained and licensed in all fifty states to provide range of other Medicare-covered services. I support reimbursement reform that will reward and reimburse those who deliver high quality care and whose patients achieve good health outcomes, without restrictions against chiropractors or other health care professionals licensed to provide such care.
Second, I recognize that neither the Department of Veterans Affairs nor the Department of Defense has achieved full integration of the services of doctors of chiropractic into their health systems despite direction from Congress. I support careful examination into the policy and practical barriers that restrict access to such services in order to remedy this problem.
Third, I support commissioning doctors of chiropractic as officers in the Uniformed Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service. The U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps is comprised of approximately 6,000 public health professionals dedicated to delivering the nation’s public health promotion and disease prevention programs and advancing public health science. Given the critical role that doctors of chiropractic serve in each of these functions, I believe that we should commission chiropractors as officers in the uniformed Corps.
Finally, under the universal health care plan I have proposed, Americans will have access to a public insurance plan that will include comprehensive coverage, including all essential health care benegits. Benefits that are evidence based or meet the current accepted standard of care would be eligible for coverage, and as such many, if not all, chiropractic services provided by doctors of chiropractic would be included in the public benefit package.
My health plan also prioritizes preventative care, and chiropractors play a significant role in this effort. As we shift our health care delivery system towards a culture of well and disease prevention, I believe that chiropractors must play an integral role in expanding access to preventative care and strengthening our public health system.
I look forward to discussing these important issues with you over the course of the next several months.