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Public Statements

Chiropractic Care Available to All Veterans Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. FILNER. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Madam Speaker, I rise today in strong support of the Chiropractic Care Available to All Veterans Act, H.R. 1017, as amended, which emphasizes the critical need for robust chiropractic services within the Department of Veterans Affairs.

In the theater today, Madam Speaker, servicemembers may carry up to 55 pounds of combat equipment and armor. Consistently supporting such a heavy load places a serious strain on the backs and joints of our servicemembers, thereby causing musculoskeletal injuries. In fact, the VA reports that musculoskeletal disorders are the single most common ailment facing returning veterans. Among veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom who have received treatment from the VA, over 52 percent have been diagnosed with such a disorder; however, the VA is not presently equipped to serve this clear need.

Current law specifies that the VA must have at least one chiropractic care program in each of the 21 Veterans Integrated Service Networks, or VISNs. Today, in-house chiropractic care is available at just 32 major VA facilities. This leaves veterans living near the remaining 121 centers without access to chiropractic care at a VA facility.

Madam Speaker, H.R. 1017 would make chiropractic care available to all veterans at all VA medical centers by phasing in the establishment of such chiropractic care programs. The VA would be required to offer chiropractic care at 75 medical centers by the end of 2011 and at all VA medical centers by the end of 2013. This bill provides an opportunity to significantly expand access to chiropractic care for one of the most prevalent disorders facing veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

I urge the support of my colleagues and reserve the balance of my time.

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