A new audit reveals that Medicare funds millions and millions on chiropractic care. A Forbes author asserts patients would be better served by actual medical doctors. That rattled some bones in the chiropractic camp.
The 2012 Medicare data reveals that in 2012, Medicare paid $496 million for chiropractic treatments in all 50 states.
This is a stunning amount. It dwarfs the funding that NIH wastes on alternative medicine through NCCAM, which is itself an egregious waste of money.
Chiropractors are not medical doctors. They primarily treat back pain, but they claim to treat a wide range of other conditions, which some of them believe are related to mis-alignments of the spine, called subluxations. This belief has no scientific basis. Nevertheless, chiropractors have succeeded in convincing the government to cover their treatments through Medicare.
This is obviously not good press for chiropractors. This high-profile piece set their spine out of place.
Forbes Article on Chiropractic Reveals Deep Seated Ignorance
In regards to vertebral subluxation the facts are that there is tremendous profession-wide
support that exists for the term, it is accepted by those outside the profession, there are peer-reviewed, scientific publications in support of the concept, internationally accepted guidelines, and books from major medical publishers. The notion that there is no scientific basis for it reveals such a deep level of ignorance that the only conclusion to be drawn is that it is simply an act of denialism. Denialism involves choosing to deny reality as a way to avoid an uncomfortable truth.
Where is the scientific basis for subluxations? They have been tested? Why does THIS research show that chiropractic foundations are baseless? I have a feeling the goalposts have been moved regarding the definition for “subluxations” as they have been roundly questioned as actually existing. There is a tremendous profession-wide support for astrology and psychic healing too. That does not make it valid or prove that it’s useful.
The International Chiropractic Association also took offense to the piece. They have taken a FAR MORE LITIGIOUS tone accusing the author of “highly prejudicial assertions about the risks associated with chiropractic care and the choice of outdated, misleading references”.
These are people trying to save their livlihood. But, I am dumbfounded at their assertions nonetheless. All these decades, chiropractic has yet to be represented soundly as having a scientific basis while actual science-based medicine has greatly advanced. The inconvenient truth that they keep spinning is that chiropractic is “magical medicine” without basis in today’s medical knowledge. As noted in this piece, it was invented whole cloth without a foundation in physiology as we know it.
The FVS letter calls the Forbes piece this “a fit of logical fallacies, unsubstantiated conjecture, political rhetoric, and denialism.” Many would say exactly the same can be applied to chiropractic. The ICA asserts that the practice is safe and effective. I don’t find the evidence for chiropractic compelling (subluxations in particular) and there does seem to be an unaddressed risk when we consider the potentially nonexistant benefits.
Here is the other side of the coin – the conclusions from medical opinions Chiropractic « Science-Based Medicine.
The ICA is asking for an apology. Will we have another Simon Singh type lawsuit? How did that turn out for chiropractic in the U.K.? Not well.