Monday, May 16, 2011

DAY 225 - Roger and Me: Lobbying for Chiropractic

photo by Robert Couse-Baker
For me to get up at 2:00 AM, there’s got to be a real good reason; like one of the kids upchucking with the flu.

Fortunately, this morning, my kids were fine. I got up at 2:00 to get to Roger Anderson’s by 3:15 to make it to LAX for a flight to the State Capitol in Sacramento so we could speak-up for the profession we love, and for the patients who depend on us.

Each year, the California Chiropractic Association organizes a day of meetings between chiropractors and our California assembly members and senators, providing us with opportunities to build relationships and communicate the views of the chiropractic community.

This year, the big issue for chiropractors and our patients, centers around implementation at the State level of last year’s national healthcare reform. At this time in history we may be able to right some wrongs, and level the field on which American healthcare has been played.

Since its beginning in 1895, the chiropractic profession has been effectively marginalized by mainstream medicine and the health insurance industry. One important factor, a framing of the provision of insurance benefits, that has enabled the marginalization, is the division of healthcare access by discipline; MD, DC, ND, LAc, DO, DDS, etc. Out of this arbitrary way of categorizing insurance coverage, the public is offered MD-care as the central benefit, and then, for extra cost, one can add the services of other professions, e.g., chiropractic, dental, optometric.

Imagine for a moment, that instead of offering coverage by provider, it was offered by services provided, regardless of the discipline of the practitioner licensed to provide them. If your medical insurance covered physical examination, lifestyle consultation, x-rays, blood work, and physical therapy, you could decide for yourself if you wanted to receive those services from a medical doctor or from a chiropractor; at no increased cost to the insurer, or you. Same costs, but you, the insured, get to choose the provider from a broader field.

Roger and I have made this pilgrimage together on a number of occasions. Makes for an interesting day, and gives us the satisfaction of lending a hand to make a difference. And there’s lots of work left to do.

(Note: actual date of this trip - May 10, 2011)

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