California Legislation & its Effect on Access to Chiropractic Care


Recently, the state of California has formulated and released its budgetary plans for the coming months. According to a report from KXJZ of Capital Public Radio, the budgetary plans have excluded chiropractic care coverage under the California Medicaid subsidiary called Medi-Cal.

Specifically, the budget allocates funding for reimbursement and coverage for chiropractic services in the state of California and without this component of Medicaid for chiropractic services in the state budget, a significant amount of patients and practices will be affected.

There is a lot of speculation regarding the reasons for this budgetary change. Much of the potential reasoning is thought to be political. Many in the political community believe that this is a political action to inhibit chiropractic care’s presence and ability to function in the state of California as a result of current events in the state’s chiropractic community.

Specifically, the California Chiropractic Association has recently spoken out against a proposed bill titled SB 277, which would require all children entering the school system to be vaccinated and would remove the Personal Belief Exemption that parents currently have regarding vaccinations. Chiropractic professionals believe that the requirement for vaccinations detracts from the relationship between the medical professional and the patient, which is highly valued in the chiropractic care community.

The current budgetary plan is supposedly set up to bring California roughly $2.5 billion in increased revenue. Additionally, the plan will restore six out of seven currently Medicaid-unfunded medical disciplines. Acupuncture, audiology, incontinence products, opitician services, podiatry, and speech therapy constitute these six disciplines. Chiropractic care is the seventh discipline that will remain unfunded. Restoring the funding for these six disciplines will cost an estimated $15 million. Restoring chiropractic care would cost a meager $257,000, which points towards political reasoning for not including Medicaid funding for chiropractic care in California.

The budget needs to be officially set by June 15th and it will take effect on July 1st. If the budget does not include chiropractic care as a funding allocation for Medi-Cal, then a significant amount of patients will lack access to care and many chiropractic clinics throughout California will most likely experience a degree of financial hardship.

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