11.14.18

U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin and Jerry Moran Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Expand Access to Chiropractic Health Care for Current and Former Military Personnel

Bipartisan bill requires TRICARE to cover chiropractic services for military retirees and members of the National Guard and Reserve

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) today introduced bipartisan legislation to expand chiropractic health services for military retirees and members of the National Guard and Reserve. The Chiropractic Health Parity for Military Beneficiaries Act would require TRICARE to cover chiropractic services for all military service members, both active and retired, and non-activated reservists.

Currently, health care programs through the U.S. Department of Defense, including TRICARE, do not cover chiropractic care for military retirees and non-activated reservists. Senator Baldwin’s bill continues her bipartisan efforts to address the opioid epidemic by expanding access to complementary and integrative health services, which includes chiropractic care, for members of the military and veteran communities to treat chronic pain.

“Military retirees, reservists and National Guard members have served and sacrificed for our nation and the freedoms we all cherish. We all have a shared responsibility to do right by them,” said Senator Baldwin. “I’ve heard from Wisconsin veterans who are in desperate need of chiropractic health services so they can access non-opioid pain management care and live healthier lives. My bipartisan legislation with Senator Moran would make sure these individuals can get the health care benefits they’ve earned and deserve.”

“Many of the retired servicemembers and Reservists who served our country have sustained back and other neuromusculoskeletal injuries that can be treated through chiropractic care,” said Senator Moran. “However, the Department of Defense offers limited access to chiropractic care for Active duty and certain members of the Reserve Component – leaving many in need at a disadvantage. I’ve long advocated for increased access to chiropractic care in the VA, and this legislation will similarly increase access to chiropractic care for all military enrollees by expanding TRICARE coverage for retirees and all reservists. The men and women who have served our nation deserve access to the same care they received while on active duty, and I’m pleased to introduce legislation that makes certain they do.”

“On behalf of the 45,000 members of the National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS) and the nearly 500,000 soldiers and airmen of the National Guard, NGAUS is pleased to support this legislation addressing Chiropractic health care services for as part of the TRICARE program. NGAUS continues to advocate to close the current gaps in healthcare coverage for our National Guard service members. NGAUS believes this legislation is an important step in affording our reserve component service men and women the ability to access the types of healthcare their active duty counterparts receive. We would like to thank Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Senator Jerry Moran of Kansas for taking the lead on this initiative and for their continued support of our nation’s service men and women, especially our reserve component soldiers and airmen, in the National Guard and Reserve,” said J. Roy Robinson, Brigadier General (Ret.), President of the National Guard Association of the United States.

“Chiropractors have become valued members of the military healthcare team. Their non-drug, non-addictive and noninvasive approach to pain management is particularly relevant today for people who wish to avoid the risk of addiction from prescription opioid pain medications. This legislation will ensure that military retirees in the TRICARE system have access to the same effective, non-drug options for their pain,” said Dr. Ray Tuck, President of the American Chiropractic Association.

“As a member organization of the National Military and Veterans Alliance, the Armed Forces Retirees Association (AFRA) is pleased to collaborate with many other military and veterans service organizations in support of this legislation.  Many retirees benefited from chiropractic care while on active duty and these injuries need continued treatment upon retirement. Your legislation will provide continuity in care for retirees while also making chiropractic coverage available to certain reservists, recognizing that they often suffer from the same injuries as their active duty counterparts,” said Ted Painter, Executive Director of the Armed Forces Retirees Association (AFRA) and Co-Director of the National Military and Veterans Alliance.

“We deeply appreciate Senator Baldwin's and Senator Moran's work to help our military, and Veterans for Common Sense is in strong support of the Chiropractic Health Parity for Military Beneficiaries Act. Medicare already covers chiropractic care, but our career military retirees and their survivors and dependents can't get it through TRICARE unless this legislation is enacted. And, I've experienced firsthand the benefits of chiropractic care, including improved mobility, chronic pain relief, and improved quality of life -- all without addictive pain drugs or expensive and risky back surgery. This inequity literally hurts our military and must be fixed,” said Anthony Hardie, National Chair & Director of Veterans for Common Sense.

The Chiropractic Health Parity for Military Beneficiaries Act is supported by the American Chiropractic Association, the Military Officers Association of America, the National Guard Association of the United States, the Air Force Sergeants Association, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Veterans for Common Sense, and the following members of the National Military and Veterans Alliance: American Military Society, American Retirees Association, Armed Forces Marketing Council, Armed Forces Retirees Association, Army and Navy Union, Association of the United States Navy, Military Order of Foreign Wars, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Military Order of World Wars, Reserve Officers Association, Society of Military Widows, The Independence Fund, and The Retired Enlisted Association.

More information about the legislation is available here.