Tuesday, March 10, 2009

ACA Biggest Winner 2002 US Elections

Dynamic Chiropractic 1-14-2003 (link taken down; available in Google cache.)

The Republican Party regained control of the U.S. Senate and gained more seats in the House of Representatives in November's midterm elections, but the biggest winner may have been the American Chiropractic Association (ACA). Of the 109 political races in which the ACA was involved, candidates endorsed by the ACA won 100 of those races - a victory rate of nearly 92 percent.

Among the winners on election night were Senators Tim Johnson (D-SD) and Tom Harkin (D-IA). The ACA purchased radio ad spots for Harkin and Johnson, and played a crucial role in the re-election of both candidates.

"While I enjoyed support for my reelection from a broad range of organizations and individuals from around Iowa and the country, the support and counsel of the American Chiropractic Association and its members throughout Iowa were especially critical to my re-election victory," acknowledged Sen. Harkin. "I look forward to building on our strong friendship and working together to ensure fairness and equal treatment for doctors of chiropractic throughout the country."

Sen. Harkin is a longtime supporter of complementary and alternative medicine. Among his legislative accomplishments, he helped draft the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994, and played an important role in the creation of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), which now has an annual budget of over $100 million. He was also the first senator to officially support Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day (October 24, 2002).

"We are not only delighted at the prospect of continuing our friendship with Senator Tom Harkin, but we are thrilled to have a number of new friends in Congress with whom we will forge relationships as well," observed ACA President Daryl D. Wills, DC.

Sen. Johnson, while not as well-- known as Sen. Harkin, has been no less of an advocate of the chiropractic profession. He is a supporter of patients' rights - including the right of a patient to see a doctor of chiropractic - and has worked with other members of Congress to gain support for the inclusion of a chiropractic provision in the Medicare system.

In other states, the ACA sent targeted mailings to voters showing their endorsement for candidates with strong records of support for the chiropractic profession. This tactic proved successful in Missouri, where Republican candidate Jim Talent, who has led efforts to increase the availability of chiropractic care in the military, defeated incumbent Jean Carnahan (D-- MO) by more than 20,000 votes to win a seat in the Senate.

ACA's political action committee, ACA-PAC, spent approximately $250,000 on the 2002 congressional elections, with $90,000 directed toward pro-chiropractic Senate campaigns and $160,000 toward campaigns in the House.

The election victories for the profession come on the heels of the passage of the Health Care Safety Net Improvement Act, which includes doctors of chiropractic in the National Health Service Corps' student loan reimbursement program. President Bush signed the act into law on October 26.

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