Let's start by getting the bad news out of the way: As this issue went to press in late 2022, the Chiropractic Medicare Coverage Modernization Act (H.R. 2654) appeared destined to time out without reaching a House vote by the end of the 2021-22 session.
The good news: It can be reintroduced in 2023 with confidence that an unprecedented number of congressional members support modernizing chiropractic coverage within Medicare to allow DCs to provide (and be reimbursed for) all services within their scope of practice.* That's because H.R. 2654 had gained 153 co-sponsors by early December – more than 60 more than co-sponsored similar legislation introduced in 2019.
That support can translate into not only repeat co-sponsorship of 2023 legislation if and when introduced, but also increase the likelihood more congressional members will sign on as the buzz surrounding it grows.
It stands to reason that the more individual congressional members understand and appreciate the value of enhanced chiropractic coverage in Medicare, the more they will share that support with colleagues who may be "on the fence" or lack adequate information to cast a yes vote.
"There is no better example of support for a bill than a House or Senate member agreeing to cosponsor it," said John Falardeau, American Chiropractic Association (ACA) senior vice president of public policy and advocacy. "The road to passage is arduous, but the ability of our Medicare legislation to generate a high cosponsor count from one congressional session to the next signals to House leadership that this is an issue meriting action. Simply put, the more cosponsors a bill has, the greater the likelihood of its success."
*H.R. 2654 would "amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide Medicare coverage for all physicians' services furnished by doctors of chiropractic within the scope of their license, and for other purposes."
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