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Healthcare in Texas: The Battle Against a Monopoly. A True Story About David & Goliath

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015

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Now I’ll be the first to admit that under normal circumstances, political talk can get boring and tiresome extremely quickly. Certainly when you add in talk about certain bills, blah, blah, blah….

But, with a back story….with a David vs. Goliath, back story….it can be interesting. Heck, you may even end up rooting for David!

Here’s the set up and history.

  • Texas Medical Association (TMA) has 37,000 members. Most of which have no clue, nor even care what their Association is doing on their part with the dues they pay. They are Goliath. Some may refer to them as the Evil Empire…
  • Texas Chiropractic Association (TCA) has 1,400 members. They are David.
  • The TMA sues the TCA at every opportunity available to drain their resources and limit their rights and abilities.
  • The TCA continues to beat the TMA in court at great cost to an already small Association in comparison. For example, the TCA just won a seven-year court case in which TMA sued them attempting to take away chiropractors’ right to diagnose their patients. Silly stuff but it’s real and it cost David over a million dollars.
  • It’s against the law for the TMA to commit any sort of anti-trust against Chiropractors (I explain that more down below)…..but then the Texas legislative session rolls around and……… Keep reading if you’d like to see what they’re attempting this session.

With the bills going through the Texas House and Senate currently, there are attempts to take rights away from patients in regards to their right to choose their doctor for different types of services and exams and rights away from the Chiropractic profession.

First, did you know that your Doctor of Chiropractic has been trained in much more than you ever imagined? It’s true. See the images below for proof.

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The photo above is courtesy of the Texas Chiropractic Association.

It seems though, that no matter what our level of education is, we are consistently forced to defend ourselves against attacks from the Texas Medical Association through their attempts at passing harmful State Legislation.

Here are a few of the bills that are concerning to Chiropractors and should be concerning to their patients.

House Bill 1231 (HB1231) is a bill that Doctors of Chiropractic are pushing because certain House Representatives have chosen to attempt to pass legislation leaving Doctors of Chiropractic off of the school district’s concussion oversight committees. They argue that Doctors of Chiropractic are not trained to diagnose and/or evaluate concussion. This is absolute foolishness when one learns what training a chiropractor receives. The Texas Panhandle’s very own Representative, Mr. Walter (Four) Price, is one of the legislators to blame for inexplicably and intentionally leaving Doctors of Chiropractic out of the original bill.

This is, of course, completely false and shows either a lack of knowledge or a very sincere lack of care on the part of the bill’s authors. It smells very much like a Texas Medical Association (TMA) back room ploy to continue to limit Doctors of Chiropractics’ abilities, rights, and scope of practice as well as limit the patient’s rights to choose. HB1231 will add Doctors of Chiropractic to concussion oversight committees where we belong.

By the way, did you realize that simple 4-year educated Athletic Trainers are included on these committees but NOT 8-year educated Doctors of Chiropractic? In what world does that make any sense at all? Maybe in TMA’s world but that’s about it.

Chiropractors are FOR this bill as it corrects the previous law that left us out. This bill puts us in.

House Bill 1174 (HB1174) is written to make sure that chiropractors are able to be included in performing School Bus Driver exams. Yes, they wrote legislation leaving us out. Imagine that. Here’s why this is dumb: Doctors of Chiropractic currently can get certified to do DOT exams. DOT stands for Department of Transportation and the exams are on truck drivers. Intrastate and Interstate truck drivers. Long haul truck drivers. 18-wheel, 70,000+ pounds carrying, hazardous material-toting….TRUCK DRIVERS!

Yet the yahoos on the original bill wanted to leave Doctors of Chiropractic out of exams for school bus driver exams. They said it was all about the kids but I think we’re seeing a pattern here and I think that knowledgable folks just know better and can see beyond the TMA and their “all about the kids” ploy.

Chiropractors are FOR this bill as it corrects the previous law that left us out. This bill puts us in.

Senate Bill 213 (SB213) As this bill is currently written, it allows the UIL to write rules to exclude Doctors of Chiropractic as performers of UIL Physicals. It needs to be amended to write us INTO law for this issue. So, currently, it looks like, “What’s the big deal? Chiropractors can do it…..unless they decide they don’t want chiropractors to do it.”

That’s not good enough. It must be in law that we are allowed to do these UIL Physicals. We are used to being squeezed out by shady/blurring wording in legislation. We can’t stand for it.

Do you realize that Doctors of Chiropractic have been performing UIL Sports Physicals for decades and currently perform approximately 30% of the UIL Sports Physicals.

Again, our good friend (?), Mr. Walter (Four) Price is partly to blame for this one too in his capacity on the Sunset Commission.

Chiropractors are against this bill until it is amended to include us.

Did you realize there has never been one single report of a child being hurt as a result of a Doctor of Chiropractic performing the child’s sports exam? NOT ONE!

Why then does the TMA want to take away Chiropractors’ right to perform these exams? Why does it make sense?

The first place I can direct you is to this link to the Wilk vs. AMA https://www.acatoday.org/content_css.cfm?CID=4767

In short, chiropractors proved in Federal Court that the American Medical Association did the following or encouraged their members in the following manner:

    • Encourage ethical complaints against doctors of chiropractic;

Oppose chiropractic inroads in health insurance;

  • Oppose chiropractic inroads in workmen’s compensation;
  • Oppose chiropractic inroads into labor unions;
  • Oppose chiropractic inroads into hospitals; and
  • Contain chiropractic schools.
  • Conducting nationwide conferences on chiropractic;
  • Distributing publications critical of chiropractic;
  • Assisting others in preparation of anti-chiropractic literature;
  • Warning that professional association between medical physicians and chiropractors was unethical; and
  • Discouraging colleges, universities and faculty from cooperating with chiropractic schools.

 

Considering this was proven in Federal Court, it isn’t hard to understand (or very surprising) the current attempts at anti-chiropractic legislation.

What I DO find surprising is the fact that the TMA continues to get away with this sort of activity here in the year 2015 in the aftermath of Wilk vs. AMA. This sort of Federal Court win is what is supposed to prevent this behavior. And in the wake of a mountain of government research showing the incredible effectiveness of chiropractic manipulative therapy…..I find it confusing to say the very least.

Isn’t it all about helping patients and improving their quality of life instead of having to have complete power and control of healthcare while padding the wallets of the TMA and it’s doctors?

It’s incomprehensible. And….it’s shameful in my opinion. The TMA wants every health practitioner under their umbrella and under their control. That’s called a Monopoly and that’s un-American as it can possibly get.

I expect this trash will continue.

As a result, I will continue to do my best to keep you updated with the latest.

In the meantime, click here and bookmark it if you’d like to keep track of the comings and the goings of the Texas Medical Association. They’re an interesting group to say the least.
http://healthcareaccessfortexas.com