Thanks to all of you who sent or faxed in letters and made phone calls in opposition of SB 381. Yesterday there was a strong coalition of physical therapists at the CA State Capital, and the legislatures made wise decisions in stopping the California Chiropractic Association’s bill, SB 381. The legislator’s clearly saw through the rhetoric and smooth talking effort of the DC’s in attempt to restrict PTs from performing manipulation, and clearly identified that it was an effort by the CCA to try to control the marketplace rather than putting the patients’ best interests as a priority.
As an FYI, the bill was heard in the Senate Business, Professions, and Economic Development Committee, which has 10 members. It needed 6 aye votes to pass. There was 1 aye vote (by Senator Yee, the author of the bill), 6 no votes, and the bill was granted reconsideration.
Watch the video of the hearing below or copy and paste the following URL into your web browser: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lx_hD1udS4c
I am very grateful for the leaders in our state. They know the legislators, and they know and understand the politics. The California State Physical Therapy Association makes it very easy for everyone to be involved and to create grassroots movements to help in the legislative battles. It was inspiring to be a part of the group at the capital yesterday, and I learned from the process. Here are some personal lessons learned:
- EVERY physical therapist must be involved. It is our professional responsibility to write letters, send faxes, make phone calls, etc. The state chapters make it so easy to do this, and each letter and phone call makes a big difference in supporting each cause. We cannot sit by and wait for a handful of folks to protect our practice, and therefore help our patients. EACH OF US MUST BE INVOLVED.
- I vow to show up at the capital at least once each year to support the profession. I challenge each of you to do the same. No matter how hard it is to do, the bottom line is that numbers do matter and it is important to have a presence WITH WARM BODIES at these hearings. If my words and the video linked above are not motivation enough, check out the pictures that I have added now to the bottom of this message. These were pictures that I took while waiting in the hallway for the hearing. One shot looks ahead of me, and one behind. I believe that only about 1/2 of the folks waiting to attend the hearing were in this big hallway, and many more were tucked around corners, in stairwells, etc. I would bet that there were 4-5 DCs to one PT (or more). We can do better.
- Many DCs are fed propaganda by their leadership. I had discussions with a handful of DCs in the hallway during the long wait to get to a hearing room. Despite being there to support SB 381, not one of the DCs actually knew the facts (we legally perform thrust manipulation, termed Grade V mobilization; we are taught physical therapy manipulation in PT schools; we have authored a large body of literature supporting manipulation for taking care of musculoskeletal conditions; that we learn differential diagnosis in PT school; etc). At the end of most of the conversations, the individuals I spoke with agreed with our side…. yet still kept on their “Support SB 381 for patient safety” badges and spoke out in support of the bill.
- We need to continue to fight in every state to protect our practice and therefore continue to offer the best care for the patients we treat.
I know the turn around is quick, but we must now rally to support the next three bills of interest:
POPTS, Direct Access, and ATC bills all scheduled for 8 days from now!
AB 1003, AB 1000, and AB 864 are all scheduled to be heard on Tuesday April 23rd, in the Assembly Business and Professions Committee, previously chaired by Mary Hayashi, at 9:00 am. CA PTs, please make your calls and send your letters. The CPTA web site has all the key information to make this happen. AND, please show up at the capital to support our profession on the 23rd. I will work to get information posted here so that our out of state colleagues can help with letters and phone calls.
Thanks for all of your support,