Improving the system will take years of effort, but some problems are easier to solve than others. For example: access to chiropractic care for veterans.
Research from the Department of Veterans Affairs indicates that musculoskeletal and back pain is the most prevalent physical condition that afflicts returning veterans. Additionally, most veterans want non-pharmaceutical, and non-surgical options to treat their condition.
Access to chiropractic care at the VA should not be an issue. In 1999, Congress required implementation of chiropractic care in the VA system. However, 15 years later, only one-third of VA hospitals offer this care, and there are no Bay Area VA hospital or outpatient clinic locations that offer this service.
Currently, the Palo Alto VA facility outsources its chiropractic care. Additionally, the website for the Palo Alto VA makes no mention of this mandated service.
This is unacceptable and a disservice to those who have served our country. Veterans do not want costly surgery or addictive pain medications to be their only options to treat their physical conditions. Fortunately, there is a solution in Congress right now that gives our nation’s vets access to chiropractic care. HR 921 and S 422 are companion bills that would mandate implementing chiropractic care in all VA facilities by 2016.
The Veterans Health Administration is America’s largest integrated health care system with over 1,700 sites of care, serving 8.76 million Veterans each year.
Our veterans deserve the best possible care they can get. Supporting HR 921 and S 422 is the least we can do to provide them with that care.