MAC Leaders Meet with Congressional Staff from Michigan Delegation to Discuss Chiropractic Medicare Coverage Modernization Act
The efforts of the Washington, DC, MAC team – and your grassroots action – have already paid off, with Congressman Shri Thanedar (D-Detroit) signing on as a co-sponsor of the bill on Monday, January 29, 2024. That brings the number of Michigan members of Congress who have signed on to H.R. 1610 to eight (out of 13), but there’s more work to be done. Our goal is for every Michigan member of Congress, and Senators Stabenow and Peters, to sign on as co-sponsors. Send an email to Senator Stabenow, Senator Peters, and your member of Congress and get your patients involved TODAY!
Thank You to Our Co-Sponsors!
Congressman John Moolenaar (R-Caledonia)
Congressman Bill Huizenga (R-Holland)
Congressman Jack Bergman (R-Watersmeet)
Congresswoman Haley Stevens (D-Birmingham)
Congressman Tim Walberg (R-Tipton)
Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit)
Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-Ann Arbor)
Congressman Shri Thanedar (D-Detroit)
Co-sponsors are listed in the order in which they signed on to the bill.
In late January, key members of the MAC leadership team joined hundreds of chiropractors, students, and other chiropractic supporters to educate their federal lawmakers on the need for modernization of Medicare beneficiary access to chiropractic care. MAC President Dr. Robert Markle of Bay City, joined by Board of Directors member Dr. Lewis Squires of Scottville, Government Relations Committee Chair Dr. Chris Dolecki of Lake Orion, and MAC staff members Carl Alden and Tim Gaughan, shared their cohesive message about the importance of increasing patient access to chiropractic services in Medicare through the passage of the Chiropractic Medicare Coverage Modernization Act (H.R. 1610/S. 799). This legislation would allow chiropractors to practice as allowed under their state’s scope of practice and help Medicare beneficiaries access the full range of the chiropractic profession’s effective and cost-efficient services, saving patients and the Medicare system valuable resources.
The offices of Senator Debbie Stabenow, Senator Gary Peters, and many of Michigan’s 13 U.S. House members were visited, spreading the word about chiropractic in the Medicare system.
In the U.S House of Representatives, as of February 1, 2024, H.R. 1610 had 154 co-sponsors – 82 Republicans and 72 Democrats – showing the true bipartisan nature of the bill. This is a significant number, because during the previous Congress (2021-2022), the Chiropractic Medicare Coverage Modernization Act gained only one more co-sponsor in a full two years (155, 78 Republicans/77 Democrats) than H.R. 1610 has gained in less than a full year since its introduction in March 2023. We believe the bill is gaining momentum, and if we gain enough co-sponsors, a hearing on the bill will be forthcoming.
In Michigan, co-sponsors run the ideological (and geographical) gamut from Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib in Detroit to Congressman Jack Bergman in the Upper Peninsula.
Medicare serves more than 55 million Americans, including more than 2 million Michiganders. Unfortunately, since chiropractic became a Medicare benefit in 1972, undue limitations have been placed on beneficiaries who see a chiropractor, and they have been cut off from receiving most chiropractic services due to the system’s antiquated coverage of chiropractic care, which only allows one service – manual manipulation of the spine to correct a subluxation.
This limitation has now persisted for more than 50 years with no scientific or valid policy basis.
H.R. 1610 – the Chiropractic Medicare Coverage Modernization Act – is legislation that would ensure Medicare beneficiaries have full access to all the Medicare-covered services a chiropractor can provide under his or her state’s chiropractic scope of practice.
Allowing chiropractors to practice as they are educated and trained – and as allowed under their state’s scope of practice – would allow Medicare beneficiaries to access the full range of the chiropractic profession’s effective and cost-efficient services, saving patients and the Medicare system valuable resources.
In Michigan, this would include such services as manipulation of the spine and extremities, evaluation and management services, diagnostic imaging, and utilization of other non-drug approaches that have become an important strategy in national efforts to stem the epidemic of prescription opioid overuse and abuse.
Modernizing chiropractic coverage in the Medicare system would remove barriers to care, support beneficiaries and the Medicare system, and level the playing field for physicians. Increasing access to the cost-effective, efficacious services provided by chiropractors – services that are already covered when performed by other providers – will greatly benefit Medicare patients.
For these reasons, we are asking Senator Gary Peters, Senator Debbie Stabenow, and all 13 Michigan members of Congress to co-sponsor H.R. 1610, the Chiropractic Medicare Coverage Modernization Act.