A piece of legislation passed by the U.S. congress on May 18, 2012 made strong pro-chiropractic statements while recognizing the benefits of chiropractic care for the men and women serving in the military. The original bill, numbered HR 4310, and titled the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013, not only spoke to the benefits of chiropractic care for the military, but also noted that chiropractors are presently not paid at parity for their professional services as compared to other professionals who care for the military.
The language of the portion of the bill that addresses chiropractic is as follows:
Comptroller General Report on Chiropractic Health Care Professionals.
The committee understands that for more than a decade, the Department of Defense has provided high-quality chiropractic health care services to Active Duty military personnel at military treatment facilities throughout the world. Today, chiropractic health care continues to be a key benefit for the men and women of the Armed Force as a result of increased incidences of musculoskeletal injuries sustained in combat. However, the committee is concerned by disparities in pay and job classifications that have resulted in chiropractors receiving lower wage rates than health care providers with either comparable or less training, skill sets, and health care responsibilities for patients in military treatment facilities. There-fore, the committee directs the Comptroller General of the United States to conduct a study and submit the findings to the Senate Committee on Armed Services and the House Committee on Armed Services by April 1, 2013, on the wage rates for chiropractors with-in the Department of Defense as compared to health care providers with either comparable or less training, skill sets, licensure and certification requirements, and health care responsibilities.
The committee mentioned in the above bill is the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Armed Services, who helped prepare the bill for the full congress.
The original legislation requiring chiropractic care be available to members of the military was passed in the year 2000. However, implementation of the law has been slow with many military personnel not being given access without severe hardships. Today, however, there are doctors of chiropractic working at 42 VA medical centers and at 60 Department of Defense facilities around the world.
In a May 25, 2012 release from the president of the American Chiropractic Association, Dr. Keith Overland comments on the desire of chiropractors to serve military personnel, "It is the profession’s honor to be a part of the health care system that treats veterans. America’s heroes do not have to suffer in silence with the common neuromusculoskeletal ailments associated with their service."