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Posted on 09-01-2016

Change Public Opinion…Change Government

For those of you who have been diehard readers of the last 75 editions of the Corner, you’ve probably noticed a common denominator peppered throughout.

It’s All About Advocacy

For those of you who are new to my musings and reports on the activities of CCA’s Governmental Affairs team, I am speaking of the many headed hydrae that is advocacy. But, you may have wondered just what IS advocacy? Advocacy constitutes getting legislators to enact or prevent specific pieces of legislation; educating legislators and policymakers about chiropractic and related issues; and providing pro-chiropractic candidates and incumbents political contributions.

In addition to the legislature, regulatory bodies also need to be monitored and lobbied, all media platforms need to be lobbied/educated, and even within our profession advocacy is necessary.

The tools at our disposal to engage in advocacy in all these arenas are well known, if you’ve been a diehard Corner reader.Our advocacy tools are extensive: grassroots lobbying through our Key Doctor program; Operation Hand Check (key doctors and district leaders. hand delivering campaign contributions); and our CCA-PAC expending $400,000 on Independent Expenditure Committee activities this election cycle. Your GA team also personally meets with hundreds of legislative and regulatory staff and legislators throughout the year and with the help of our CCA’s marketing firm, KFB Public Affairs, we secure positive media across all of today’s 21st century communication platforms. 

What Does Abraham Lincoln Have To Say About This?

All these aforementioned tools are being utilized daily by your GA team.  Now it’s time to take it up a notch. A big notch!  Ultimately, for chiropractic to overcome the challenge of other health care providers having more resources to bring to bear on their behalf, we have to win in the court of public opinion.  The quote by President Lincoln referenced in the subject heading reads in its entirety,

Changing public opinion is a two-fold endeavor.  First, we need to ascertain what the public opinion is relative to chiropractic. Second, we need to design and implement a plan to change it.

Palmer College Of Chiropractic 2016 Gallup Poll – The Results Are In!

Thanks to the absolutely astounding commitment and investment by Palmer College of Chiropractic, the first element has been addressed.  As many of you know, our friends at Palmer have invested millions of dollars conducting polling on the public’s opinions of chiropractic. 

The 2016 poll was recently released and the results are exceptionally encouraging. For the complete results - click here

Here are some brief highlights courtesy of our friends at Palmer:

  • Nearly 62 million U.S. adults (25 percent) went to a chiropractor in the last five years.  More than half (35.5 million) said they went in the last 12 months—up slightly from the 33.6 million in last year’s survey.
  • Three in four of those who saw a chiropractor in the last year (77 percent) described chiropractic care as “very effective.”
  • Eighty-eight percent of recent chiropractic patients agreed the quality of care they received was a good value for the money they paid.

This nationally representative annual survey measured perceptions of, and experiences with, chiropractic among U.S. adults. The survey will be repeated for at least one more year as part of Palmer College’s on-going effort to study and advance the profession’s identity and understanding of public perceptions regarding chiropractic care.

Ok…That’s Great…So Now What?

These are phenomenal results, but the question remains, how do we maximize these outcomes?  It’s a rhetorical question of course. 

We design a plan to put these results and the messages they purvey, in front of the rest of the public that remains ignorant of the health benefits, safety, and cost-effectiveness of chiropractic. We change public opinion and thereby change the government.

I can think of no greater priority for our resources, focus, and commitment. 

Only by enhancing the image of chiropractic in the eyes and minds of the public, will we ultimately not only amass the political capital so sorely needed, but drive Californians into chiropractic offices all over the state regardless of the doctors’ business model.

As you know, we have an incredible team at KFB Public Affairs working with us on this endeavor.  Together, we are in the process of designing a plan to effectuate the outcomes we covet so highly.  To be effective we must choose the means of communication that provide the most impact, for the best price, for the longest period of time possible. 

None of that will come cheap.  It will take a combined effort within our community to raise enough resources to implement such an effort.  I have zero doubt that when presented with a plan to implement President Lincoln’s principle, our doctors, colleges, family, friends and patients will step up to make it happen. 

Many pundits and cognoscente profess disparaging views of public opinion.  I don’t share them in this circumstance.  I prefer to share the views of the author of many of the most influential Federalist Papers, James Madison, who said of public opinion: 

And that’s all the news that’s fit to print, and some that probably isn’t…for now.

Did you know you can comment directly on the Corner? Just look below for the comment box.

I encourage your feedback and questions. I look forward to hearing from you.

©2016 California Chiropractic Association. All rights reserved. Please do not disseminate in part or whole without prior permission. Questions or permission to disseminate? Contact Cris Forsyth at cforsyth@calchiro.org.

Tim Gooing said:

This is GREAT!!

2016-09-03 11:55:59

Brian Porteous,DC,FPAC said:

One of the findings in the Palmer Study; 50% of satisfied Chiro Pts. Never return to Chiropractic ... what's that about ?

2016-09-14 15:18:12

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