NGAUS is supporting bipartisan legislation aimed at expanding access to chiropractic health care for the National Guard, Reserves and military retirees.
Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc., and Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, introduced the Chiropractic Health Parity for Military Beneficiaries Act last week. If passed and signed into law, the bill would require TRICARE to cover chiropractic services for all service members, active and retired, and non-activated reservists.
Those services are not currently covered for military retirees and non-activated reservists, according to Baldwin’s office. Expanding the coverage is part of the senator’s efforts to address the ongoing opioid epidemic by providing access to alternative treatments for chronic pain.
NGAUS applauds the efforts.
“NGAUS is pleased to support this legislation addressing chiropractic health care services for as part of the TRICARE program,” said retired Brig. Gen. J. Roy Robinson, the association president. “NGAUS continues to advocate to close the current gaps in health care 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.”
Similar legislation was also introduced in the House by Rep. Mike Rogers.
Baldwin said the bill would follow through on a shared responsibility to “do right” by the retirees, reservists and Guardsmen who have served and sacrificed for their nation.
“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,” she said. “My bipartisan legislation with Senator Moran would make sure these individuals can get the health care benefits they’ve earned and deserve.”
Moran said current limits to TRICARE leaves many retirees and Reservists at a disadvantage.
“Many of the brave men and women who serve our country have sustained back and other neuromusculoskeletal injuries that can be treated through chiropractic care,” he said. “This bill will increase access to chiropractic care by expanding TRICARE coverage for military retirees and all reservists, which is something I’ve advocated to the VA many times over. The men and women of our Armed Forces, past and present, deserve access to the same care they received while on active duty to prevent a lapse in care.”
The legislation is also supported by the American Chiropractic Association, Armed Forces Retirees Association, the National Military and Veterans Alliance and Veterans for Common Sense, among others.