Chiropractic care was first provided at Veterans Affairs Department facilities in 2004 under a pilot program at about 25 locations, where the VA either hired chiropractors or contracted for care. Just getting the pilot program launched after it was first authorized was a three-year effort.
Expansion of care to all VA facilities has been one of the top priorities of the International Chiropractic Association. Expansion of military and veterans’ treatment programs is part of what they are calling the “Adjust the Vote” campaign, in a bit of chiropractic humor.
Filner’s bill goes further than a veterans’ health care bill passed by the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee earlier this year. That bill, S 1237, Homeless Veterans and Other Veterans Health Care Authorities Act of 2010, requires that comprehensive chiropractic services be available in at least two locations within each of the 21 veterans’ integrated services networks. The veterans committee passed the bill in January but it has not yet been brought to the Senate floor for debate.
Every network has at least one center with chiropractic services today, but 12 have only one location, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which estimates it would cost about $8 million over five years to provide 12 more centers.
No cost estimate was available for Filner’s bill.