Local Politics

Black's Plea Pains Pro-Chiropractor Legislation

Posted March 8, 2007

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— Some lawmakers want a law favoring chiropractors repealed in the wake of former House Speaker Jim Black's admission that he accepted illegal cash contributions from chiropractors.

Black inserted a special provision in the 2005 budget that put insurance co-payments for chiropractors on a par with medical doctors. Instead of paying $50 to visit a chiropractor, patients had to pay only $15 or $20 for an office visit under the new law.

When he pleaded guilty last month to a federal charge of accepting an illegal gratuity in connection with more than $25,000 in cash given to him by three chiropractors between 2002 and 2005, legislative watchdogs immediately questioned the industry's influence in the co-payment law.

"We need to look at how that was put into law. We're not saying it was good or bad, but maybe the process could have been better. So, we're looking at a possible repeal," House Majority Leader Hugh Holliman said.

Bill to repeal the co-payment legislation have been filed in both the House and Senate.

Chiropractors maintain the legislation is needed, but they acknowledge that Black's legal case has damaged their profession.

"There's going to be a little tainted opinion, I'm afraid, for the entire chiropractic profession," chiropractor Richard Armstrong said. "It's a good piece of legislation. It gives patients freedom to choose."

Helen Deere, who sought treatment from Armstrong after being injured in a car accident, said insurance shouldn't discriminate between physicians and chiropractors as long as a doctor can stop the pain.

"It's unfair to choose one thing -- one part of the body -- and say we'll treat that, and then we won't treat the other," Deere said.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, the state's largest insurer, said lower co-payments could drive up premiums for everyone else, especially considering the frequency of chiropractic treatments.

Chiropractors disagree, and they're urging patients to help them keep the new co-payment level.

"Repealing the legislation is going to create, in my opinion, unfair bias or influence on consumers," Armstrong said.

10 Comments

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  • mvnull Mar 9, 2007

    Y'all have to let go of the lottery. Regardless of how it was enacted, the majority of the state's voters want it. Instead, keep their feet to the fire and "force" the state to actually spend it on education.

  • El Doggo Mar 9, 2007

    The lottery was part of it. The optical test requirement for children entering school was another on top of the chiropractor debacle...

  • dragonslayer Mar 8, 2007

    They have to start somewhere to overturn any legislation they dont like that Black was a part of, so maybe if they get the ball rolling the lottery will be repealed. After all THAT is why Jim Black is in hot water he made the good ol boys network mad by ramming the lottery through angering the southern baptist branch of the taliban .Meg Scott Phipps found out the hard way what happens when you mess with the good ol boys too .

  • tarheel1980 Mar 8, 2007

    Chiropractors are never medical doctors. Why should they be covered by insurance any better than physical theropists are?

  • El Doggo Mar 8, 2007

    Chiropractors are not always doctors...

  • El Doggo Mar 8, 2007

    ALRIGHT!!!! This is SMART!!!! Lets look at some of the legislation this CROOK shoved through!!!! :-)

  • Tax Man Mar 8, 2007

    Why should MDs get lower copays than other doctors? They should all be the same.

  • rand321 Mar 8, 2007

    If patients and health care providers felt strongly about the need for lower chiropractor co-pays, they would have lobbied and supported the elected officials for it.

    I find it repulsive that my medical premiums for me and my employees are higher as a result of illegal activies and bribery by the chiropractors who stand to benefit.

    REPEAL IT NOW and let them go by legal means to prove their case to the public.

  • superman Mar 8, 2007

    Richard Moore took money from companies wanting to invest the retiement fund for his campaign. Mr Moore says he did nothing wrong-- maybe he should talk to Meg Phillips and Jim Black

  • tarheel1980 Mar 8, 2007

    This legislation needs to be repealed. And I'm not sure why we continue to call chiropractors and optometrists doctors. Neither have been to medical school. Seems like they want the title to fool people about their qualifications.