We all know veterans. Some are family members, some are friends. My father, a veteran, is finally coming home from overseas and will be living near me. He recently called me to ask about getting treatment when he gets back. The answer that I had to give him was that it would be difficult to get any chiropractic care through the VA here or through Medicare. I have treated quite a few veterans here in Sandy from all over the Salt Lake City area, and they all have had difficulty with the VA. The VA told them that they don’t cover chiropractic care here in Utah. That is not true, so, I provided them with this VA fact sheet and this guide to Veterans getting care put out by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA). After being shown the law the VA does cover their treatment. When asked about this discrepancy in thier policy the official reply from the VA was that there is no demand in the Utah VA for chiropractic care.
“In recent years, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has started the long-overdue process of providing veterans with access to chiropractic care by placing doctors of chiropractic on staff at VA hospitals. The process of integrating chiropractic care in the VA system was initiated after Congress enacted a series of statues—Public Law 108-170 and Public Law 107-135—that reinforced a permanent chiropractic benefit within the VA health care system and specifically directed the VA to hire doctors of chiropractic to provide care for veterans.
As a result of the above-referenced congressional directives, the VA now provides chiropractic care (via hired or contracted staff) at 47 major VA treatment facilities within the United States. Unfortunately, an overwhelming majority of America’s veterans still do not have access to chiropractic care because the VA has taken no action to provide chiropractic care at more than 100 of its major medical facilities.
Despite important data demonstrating a critical need for chiropractic services within the VA, the disparity in access has been allowed to persist. Recent VA data cites “diseases of musculoskeletal system/connective system,” such as back pain, as the number one ailment of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans accessing VA treatment.” -ACA Website
If you are a veteran or know one, or just appreciate the service that they have given then please give back. Contact your congressman and Senator today. There are currently bills in both the senate and the house that would require the VA to have a chiropractic physician on staff at all major VA medical facilities by 2016. To make your voice heard on this topic you can visit the ACA Political Action Center.