Bills S 0789 & H 6124 and the opioid overdose crisis

Our current opioid-overdose crisis demands that ALL Rhode Island citizens know about the current bill(s) before the legislature that will enhance citizen accessibility to non-pharma-first health care providers. Bills S 0789 & H 6124*address the opioid-overdose crisis. The epidemic we confront continues its devastating spiral; with 2016 deaths exceeding those in 2015 and 2017 on track to have an even a greater loss of life. The daily news of addiction, overdose and death is a painful reality for too many of our families.

Currently, Rhode Island has a health insurance system that obstructs over 300,000+ of our citizens from seeking the services of non-pharmaceutical-first doctors. The remaining 600,000+ have barriers intended to dissuade them from utilizing these doctors. These plans have cost prohibitive co-pays, arbitrarily limited coverage, or “phantom coverage” (which is really no coverage at all), and forces many patients that would prefer not to take pain medication to treat with pharma first providers whose training is in prescribing medication for a patient’s pain.

This legislation will remove the barriers. It will allow citizens to have fair coverage that will enable them to treat with chiropractic physicians: the doctors that utilize non-pharma-first treatment. The vast majorities of pain based complaints that motivate patients to seek the care of a doctor are; neck and back pain, headaches and muscle and joint pain. In Rhode Island, chiropractic physicians have been licensed since 1918 and have the highest safety rate of all RI doctors; with malpractice rates approximately 30x lower than medical and osteopathic doctors.*. 

This legislation creates no new law; it simply demands enforcement of existing State health care laws passed in 1987 and 2015*and Federal law in 2010 as part of the Affordable Care Act {amendment 2706}. In 2013 our Legislature unanimously passed a “Joint Resolution”* clarifying the “Legislative Intent” of the 1987 law. This was to have the Administration enforce existing law; but to no avail. Patients continue to be directed away from non-pharma-first providers, which continues to add to the crisis.

In testimony to the House Corporations Committee at the recent hearing, the main argument presented by the insurance lobby was that; “it will add costs and drive up the price of insurance”.  Nothing could be further from the truth. In January, Optum (the technology division of United Health Care), released the results of their studies; “For every $1.00 of cost for chiropractic services in a health care system it SAVES $2.00 of medical costs”  There are many numerous additional studies that support these statistics.*          

Contacting our legislators and requesting support for passage of this legislation is critical. Why? Because seeking care when one has pain, should not become a matter of life or death.     


* Malpractice rates based on actuarial “claims made” DCs pay $1,000.00 for required 1 million/3 million coverage vs MD/DO costs of $30,000.00+ per 1mil/3mil

* See attachments for references. Additional references available upon request

Alan R. Post D.C. has been in practice since 1982. He is past president of the RI & NE regional chiropractic associations and has served on the advisory boards of numerous institutions. He has been actively involved with health care reform since 2004; having served on and/or presented to numerous committees and commissions.


Dr. Alan Post

Find us on the map