In a huge victory for the profession, SB 1362, the chiropractic insurance equality bill, passed the Senate Health Committee yesterday by a vote of 5-2. It will now move forward to a vote by the full State Senate in a few weeks. If approved by the Senate, it will then move to the House for consideration, first by committee and then by the full House. If passed, this bill will finally assure coverage for all medically necessary chiropractic care along with PCP level copayments and nondiscriminatory utilization review of chiropractic claims.
This victory was the result of many factors. First, the unprecedented collaboration between ACS and AAC was key to the success. ACS lobbyist Tim LaSota and AAC lobbyist Barry Aarons worked together to garner votes for passage. Second, ACS worked hard for many days leading up to the vote to get doctors to send in emails and make calls to committee members and this was very powerful. Third, many ACS members packed the hearing room, thus showing committee members how important this bill is to the profession. Fourth, we had the truth on our side. Almost every committee member had personally experienced problems getting their own chiropractic care covered and so we were "preaching to the converted."
We are particularly grateful to the bill's prime sponsor Senator Rick Murphy who spoke first to the committee about the bill's merits and then stayed throughout the hearing and gave final remarks. Sen. Murphy is a die-hard supporter of the chiropractic profession along with being a senior Republican Senator. We are also grateful to Senate Health Committee Chair Senator Nancy Barto for cosponsoring the bill and hearing it in her committee. The bill would have died without her support.
The next step is a vote by the full Senate and the time to work on getting Senators to vote yes begins today. Find out who your State Senator is by going to www.azleg.gov
.Click on "How do I find my legislators?" on the left side. Then you will see which Legislative, not Congressional, district you live and work in. Go back to the Legislative home page and to the Senate page and scroll down to your district. Once you find your Senator, call and email with a simple message saying that you want your Senator to support SB 1362 when it comes to a vote by the full Senate. Be sure to have tons of patients, staff, family and friends do the same. If you have any questions, call or email ACS. Get busy now if you want this bill to pass the Senate.
Many thanks again to all of the ACS doctors who took time away from their practices to spend most of a Wednesday afternoon at the Capitol to support this bill. Your presence made a huge difference. And many thanks again to the AAC for working in harmony with ACS on this bill. This unprecedented cooperation also made a huge difference and will continue.
The expense involved in lobbying for a bill like this is enormous and so we ask that you join ACS if you have not already done so. If passed, SB 1362 will require insurers to once again fully cover chiropractic and association membership dues will be easily affordable. You can join ACS online at www.AZChiropractors.org or simply by calling ACS at 602-368-9496.