Arlington, Va. - Members of the chiropractic profession from across the nation gathered in Washington, D.C. and later met with congressional leaders to stress the importance of chiropractic's role in national health care and Medicare reform. The group convened as part of the 2015 National Chiropractic Leadership Conference (NCLC), taking place Feb. 25 - 28. Nearly 700 chiropractic physicians, students and supporters converged on the nation's capital to hear speeches from government leaders, receive advocacy training and urge elected officials to support pro-chiropractic measures that would benefit patients, expand access to chiropractic services for veterans and active-duty military personnel, and help chiropractic graduates qualify for federal programs that would enable them to practice in underserved areas in exchange for student loan debt relief. Congressional Keynote Speaker, Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), a member of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, emphasized the importance of having chiropractic physicians fully incorporated into the health care system. "The work that doctors of chiropractic do is a key part of our nation's health and wellness," said Sen. Merkley. "We need to make sure that chiropractic care is accessible and affordable to those who need it." Attendees also heard from U.S. Representative Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.), a member of the Armed Services Committee and a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve where he flew the E-2C Hawkeye in America's war on drugs before becoming a member of Congress; and U.S. Representative Mark Amodei (R-Nev.), who sits on the powerful Appropriations Committee, the panel that has oversight on all federal spending. ACA President Anthony Hamm, DC, in his opening address to attendees, focused on the need for chiropractic services for veterans. "Our veterans want quality, they want value and they want outcomes. That's what chiropractic delivers. And that's our charge," he said.