Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the TCA General Assembly is in recess. The legislature plans to return June 1 to resume other business before adjourning for the year, though it’s uncertain whether pandemic conditions will allow them to continue to hold large meetings at that time.
TCA Working to Protect and Promote Chiropractic on the Hill in 2020
Chiropractic is facing multiple challenges in the 2020 legislative session.
The second session of the 111th General Assembly is moving at a fast pace, to say the least, and at last look, 3,367 bills have been brought in all. The TCA is quickly working through each and every one of these bills to see how they might impact chiropractic.
On first look, and of note, are numerous scope bills. There are a large amount of bills impacting healthcare including telehealth, balanced billing and vaping as well as scores of insurance bills, caption bills, and other bills that could impact the business of healthcare.
In addition to our TCA pro-active efforts in 2020, we are playing defense on all proposed legislation that has the potential to negatively affect you and your patients. Nationally, we continue to monitor legislative developments impacting chiropractic as well.
2020 TCA Summary of Bills Online Resource
As a benefit, the TCA is finalizing an expansive Summary of Bills. It will include the above along with other important bills, and will be provided in an upcoming Advocacy Inroads. As session progresses, this document will continue to be updated for TCA members and TCA PAC contributors.
The 2020 Summary of Bills, as well as issue briefs and additional supporting information will be provided for TCA Members via the Advocacy section of the your tnchiro.com login.
Be Ready: Watch for Legislative Calls to Action
Chiropractic has been successful through the years because of your actions. Things are moving faster than previous sessions, as it is an election year. TCA will be sending ‘Call to Action’ emails to constituents of key legislators on urgent issues as they come on calendar.
Please watch your email, and if contacted, respond! TCA will provide background information and talking points to support you in these contacts, but your grassroots efforts to reach out to your legislators as a constituent will be critical to our success!
Do you know your Senator and Representative? Click here to find your legislators!
2019 TCA Legislative Successes Saving Chiropractors
Over Half Million Dollars Annually
Through a concerted effort by our members, TCA leadership and our professional lobbying team we overcame a mire of obstacles and opposition. While only 1,822 bills found their way to the Governor’s desk or the bin, the TCA is proud to report that we were successful in passing 100% of our legislative agenda!
In addition to passing our Alternative to Opioids bill, which names chiropractic within the definition of “alternative treatments” per Tennessee law, TCA removed both the Massage Establishment License requirement for DCs (as well as MDs and DOs) effective as of May 10, 2019 and the Professional Privilege Tax in 2020.
The TCA was the driving force behind these changes saving well over half a million dollars annually for the chiropractic profession in Tennessee.
Back the TCA PAC Fund
We MUST show support to legislators who made our victories possible this year and who are vital in 2020 efforts. But, we need PAC funds to make this possible.
The TCA PAC supports candidates running for State House or Senate, and helps to strengthen current relationships that are invaluable to the future of the profession in Tennessee.
TCA Membership Dues At Work For You!
Member support enables a long list of TCA accomplishments such as the valuable work mentioned above. Think of how much more we could do if we had the support of all licensed DCs in TN…
The TCA has a responsibility to our members as the only voice for doctors of chiropractic in Tennessee and we use that platform to relentlessly advocate for good public policy.
2020 has brought an aggressive legislative session and it is also an election year. We need a strong effort to address the ongoing insurance inequities, inclusion in programs addressing the opioid epidemic and defense to our scope, among other TCA objectives.
For roughly the cost of one dinner out a month, TN doctors who are not currently members can show their support and join others who are backing pro-active and defensive initiatives for chiropractic in TN. Plus, reap a wealth of benefits.
Why is the TCA Unique When it Comes to Lobbying?
Our legislators as decision-makers do not always have experience or access to information on how their constituents and patients of chiropractic might be affected. It is our job as chiropractic advocates to educate our elected officials and be certain that they have the information they need to make the best decisions possible.
There is no shortage of paid lobbyists and special interests groups who aggressively try to influence Tennessee legislators; however, the TCA is the only statewide association advocating for chiropractic in the midst of numerous lobbyists for other provider groups, business interests, insurers and others. While our strong team of TCA lobbyists speaks out for chiropractic on “the Hill”, state legislators are most responsive to their constituents – people who vote in their districts. They also feel the need to know that a specific issue is a priority in their community, and it takes the people who live and work in the community to sway them.
Why is Lobbying Necessary?
The Tennessee Chiropractic Association encourages informed and active participation in government, with the aim to ensure that chiropractic physicians’ voices are an important part of political dialogue on issues impacting the profession.
As sessions become more and more fast-paced, we cannot be guaranteed that legislators have had the opportunity to fully review every bill that comes before them for their vote. It is our job as chiropractic advocates to educate our elected officials and be certain that they have the information they need to make the best decisions possible.
Legislators Need to Hear from You
Tennessee’s state senators and representatives come from diverse backgrounds; many are not healthcare experts and may have no chiropractic experience, yet they must vote on these issues when a bill comes before them. As a healthcare expert, you are uniquely qualified to help your elected representatives understand the practical implications of healthcare policy proposals. It is vital that legislators hear from you.
Click here to find your legislators.
What Can I Do?
It is the TCA’s goal to promote and secure passage of our legislative objectives by the state’s legislators. To focus the tremendous grassroots power of the chiropractic profession, your TCA has developed a Legislative Ambassador network. The aim of the program is to ensure that each and every member of the General Assembly has continual contact with, and input from, his/her local Doctors of Chiropractic. If you have a personal or good working relationship with one of Tennessee’s House or Senate Members or would like to initiate one, we want to know as this can be critical in the communication process to urgent legislative issues. The goal is never threaten or antagonize, but to build a relationship and influence discussion on the basis of your knowledge and understanding of the issue.
Below, the TCA has compiled a list to assist our members to be strong grassroots advocates for the chiropractic profession.