CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
The House is scheduled to consider H.R. 1017 on Monday, May 24, 2010, under suspension of the rules, requiring two-thirds majority vote for passage. Rep. Filner (D-CA) introduced H.R. 1017 on February 12, 2009, and it was referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. The committee reported H.R. 1017 by voice vote on May 12, 2010.
H.R. 1017 requires the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide chiropractic care to veterans at 75 Veteran Affairs Medical Centers (VAMCs) by the end of 2011 and at all 153 VAMCs by the end of calendar year 2013.
According to the VA, musculoskeletal injuries, such as painful and disabling joint and back disorders, are a leading health problem of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. This is the result of multiple tours of duty and missions that require service members to use heavy combat gear and protective body armor. Currently, chiropractic care is available to eligible veterans at 32 VA medical facilities using hired or contracted staff and through VA’s outpatient fee basis program for veterans who live in areas distant from these locations. The Committee expects VA to recruit, hire, and place enough chiropractors to minimize the need for fee basis referrals and to take steps to eliminate excessive waiting times for referrals for chiropractic care.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, implementing H.R. 1017 would cost $46 million over 2011-15, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts. Paygo doesn’t apply to H.R. 1017. CBO estimates that VA would need to hire an additional 93 chiropractors by 2014.