Rep. Austin Scott’s Conflict of Interest
“As a voice for Robins and Moody Air Force Bases in Washington, you can rest assured that I am constantly working for our installations and the thousands of veterans, military families, and Department of Defense civilian employees that I represent.”
Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA), (April 30, 2017, email from his Updates from Washington)
I must strongly object to Rep. Scott’s gobbledygook.
I discovered he is not a “voice” to guarantee the legal health choices of RAFB employees concerning treatments for the most disabling condition at RAFB, the epidemic of low back pain (LBP) among active military and injured civilian workers.
I met with him on April 10, 2017, to ask for an investigation into the boycott of chiropractic services at Robins AFB for active military in TRICARE as well as injured civilians in federal workers comp program (FECA).
To my surprise, this meeting could not have gone worse.
I prepared a 30-page report including the history of the TRICARE law signed by former President George Bush calling for every military site to have a chiropractor on staff by Sept. 30, 2006. RAFB has still failed to do so.
I pointed out all three Army posts in Georgia (Benning, Stewart, Gordon) already have DCs on staff, but not Moody or Robins AFB.
“Well, if the laws allows for it, then they should follow it,” he replied rather reluctantly.
“But that’s my point: the laws call for chiropractic care but the base has stone-walled this issue for years as my correspondence with the COs on base proves.”
For over a decade now RAFB has taken the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy about chiropractic care; in fact, of the 59 bases in the US, only 20 have chiropractors on staff and no one wants to talk about it.
I also produced a FOIA request for fiscal year 2012 that showed of the 2,512 spine-related worker’s comp injuries at RAFB, not one was referred to any chiropractor.
I shared with him the recent American College of Physicians (ACP) updated guidelines on LBP calling for spinal manipulation as a first-line treatment rather than opioids drugs, epidural shots or fusion surgery, but he didn’t seem interested.
None of this fazed this Republican representative. He never opened my report and he never looked at the new guidelines.
As our “voice” in Washington, he was rather tight-lipped until he revealed his father is an orthopedic surgeon.
Finally the truth came out that explained everything!
“This isn’t about your dad, it’s about RAFB following the law to offer active military members and injured civilian workers the right to choose chiropractic care as the federal laws allow.”
Obviously this meeting was going nowhere fast. He finally said he would not call for an investigation to determine if RAFB is following the law or not.
Apparently his “voice” only speaks for his vested interests, not injured workers.
Clearly blood is thicker than water, especially when it comes to an orthopedist’s son and a chiropractor when it conflicts with his father’s business.
JC Smith, DC, MA
Warner Robins, GA