Don’t Let Chiropractors Scam Medicare Patients

Dear Friend of CFI:

Last month, a gift to the chiropractic lobby was introduced in Congress. The Chiropractic Medicare Coverage Modernization Act (H.R. 3654), introduced on July 9 by Representatives Brian Higgins (D-NY) and Tom Reed (R-NY), would force Medicare to cover all services that the chiropractic industry claims to be within its pseudoscientific repertoire and, ludicrously, define chiropractors as “physicians” in the Medicare program.

Chiropractic practice is beset by many of the same flaws that we’ve previously alerted you to regarding “alternative” practices such as naturopathy, rooted in a bunk pseudoscientific theory known as subluxation. Chiropractors are sanctioned by their industry to practice on the basis of woefully inadequate, largely unscientific training that is a pale mockery of the rigorous training provided in science-based medical schools. Shamefully, many chiropractors are also anti-vaccination.

As with naturopaths, chiropractors are on a long-term mission to pass laws that elevate them to the same status as genuine primary care physicians, with an equally expansive scope of practice—including prescribing authority.

Make no mistake: This legislation would allow unqualified actors to deceive vulnerable patients into paying for a host of sham treatments that carry health risks while providing little or no medical benefit. It expands the previously narrow Medicare coverage of chiropractic from “spinal manipulations,” which is bad enough, to “any function or action … as is legally authorized by the State in which such doctor performs such action or function.”

Meanwhile, chiropractors are also lobbying in the states for the most expansive scope of practice they can possibly get.

H.R. 3654 would impose false hope on Medicare patients by legitimizing useless pseudomedicine. It would endanger patients who need treatments that have been proven to be safe and effective in treating serious health conditions. And it would waste taxpayer dollars on snake oil. For the sake of patient health and safety, we can’t let this bill become law.

Please fill out our webform to contact your representative now. If you prefer to call your representative, you can find their office phone number by calling (202) 224-3121.

Thank you for supporting science, reason, and evidence-based policy!



Jason Lemieux

Director of Government Affairs

Center for Inquiry

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