Sunset Commission Vote, What it Means
Monday, August 18, 2014 04:50 PM

The vote on chiropractic exclusion from UIL Physicals on Wednesday, August 13, 2014, went against chiropractors by a vote of 7 to 5. It is disappointing that “politics as usual” carried the day, but there are a few things the TCA wants to let you know. 

Foremost,  we were impressed by the number of Doctors who showed up on Wednesday. We had more than twenty Doctors in attendance.  The efforts on social media, the e-mails and calls to members, and the comments to the Sunset Commission were impressive and very helpful. We also  have had a number of you who have been attending meetings, gathering information and working on any number of tasks related to this effort and that was invaluable.  Thank you all for your efforts and persistent work!

The hand of our opponents is now tipped.  This vote to adopt a “recommendation” to remove chiropractors has no immediate effect on your ability to practice.  It is setting up “moves” for the legislature to try to make this “recommendation” become a “reality” in the next legislative session early next year.  Now that the Sunset Commission has voted it will be considered in the next legislative session.

This is the first step in a very long process that will be a very tough battle for chiropractic over the next nine months.  Now is the time to step up with regular contributions to the Chiropractic Development Initiative, to  join the TCA if not a member, and to become engaged in the process assisting with grassroots communication with legislators and their offices, and the development of the patient database in mytexasdoctor.org so that chiropractic patients may become AS engaged as their doctors.

It is important that you regularly converse, communicate, or just regularly email your representatives and senator so that they are made aware of your desires, your perspectives, and your needs.  If you need assistance or desire “talking points” just let the TCA know and we can get those to you quickly.  The bottom line is that chiropractors need to remain engaged in this effort.

While the need to have a strong showing at this hearing was not readily apparent the public had no opportunity to speak on this issue, we saw a very robust and thorough vetting of many of the issues we have been discussing with members of the Legislature against Representative Price's misguided effort. I am confident that the fact that these Legislators heard from constituents, the fact that we maintained contact throughout this process, and the fact that so many showed up, had a lot to do with moderating what we are sure the opponents believed was an easy end-run.

While it would have been gratifying to see the vote go our way, we are well positioned to have a positive influence on the process going forward and we have a seat at the table in developing a solution. Today’s actions coalesced legislative members as it demonstrated that political medicine is more about monopolistic control than anything else.  Wednesday’s meeting shows that we can push back and have an impact in standing for justice rather than just one group’s economic advantage. There is no doubt that the Sunset Commission staff, TMA, members of the Legislature and others have taken note as evidenced by the fact that a large part of their morning was consumed by debate on an issue that was supposed to be about football physicals and dispensed with in short order.  Now we have an opportunity to directly influence a bill that is in fact a real threat. 

We will engage as many legislators as possible and will try to work with Senator Birdwell's staff to work on language and ideas regarding the idea of adding additional training necessary to qualify ANY PROVIDER, not just doctors of chiropractic, for conducting school physical certifications.