Progress Notes features doctors and medical students across the country on the frontlines of our health care system. Our views and experiences are diverse, but we share common goals and values. We speak up to move toward a future where everyone can have access to affordable, high-quality health care. Please share our posts, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
On Saturday, January 21, Doctors for America is partnering with national groups around the country to attend the Women’s March in Washington, DC to stand up for our patients’ care as Republicans in Congress threaten to repeal the Affordable Care Act and put the health coverage of 30 million Americans at risk.
We invite you to join a group of physicians, medical students, and health care professionals as a “white coat” contingent in the march.
If you plan on coming, please RSVP using this link, so that we can text/email you with any last second changes in plans.
Doctors March on Washington
January 21, 2017 at 9:30 a.m. ET
355 E St SW, Washington, DC 20472
(In between the CDC Building and Casey’s Coffee)
Please feel free to invite friends, colleagues and allies to join our group, whether they are DFA-affiliated or not. The more the merrier! We suggest health care professionals and medical students wear their white coats.
For those, who aren’t able to attend the Women’s March in DC, there are sister marches occurring around the country that we encourage you to attend to stand up for progressive ideals across this country.
Whether attending the Women’s March in DC or or in your hometown, we suggest health care professionals and medical students wear your white coats to present a clear voice from the medical community for media in supporting our patients. You can amplify the impact of your participation by taking pictures of your white coat group and using the following social media tags:
We look forward to seeing you out there and taking a stand for health care.
Isabel Chen, MD, MPH
Family Medicine Resident
Kyle Ragins, MD, MBA
Emergency Medicine Resident
P.S. Here’s the ACLU’S Know Your Rights Guide to those who participating in any protests. There is DC specific information.
As Dr. King said, “We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back.”
I am writing to you from Capitol Hill where I am standing with a group of medical students and future health care providers from around the country rallying to #ProtectOurPatients. We want Congress to understand that future healthcare providers stand united in our belief that repealing the ACA and leaving 30 million without health insurance coverage is not acceptable and will do clear harm to our patients. We aredelivering a petition signed by more than 4,000 future health care providers representing more than 140 medical schools in all 50 states. We are rallying outside the Capitol and meeting with key Senators from both the Republican and Democratic Party, because for us, maintaining access to high quality, affordable health care for all Americans is not a partisan issue. We value patients over politics and we need your help to let Congress know that you stand with us today.
The newly sworn in Senate and House are already taking the first steps toward repealing major parts of the ACA that have added more than 20 million people to the ranks of the insured. Right now, fewer than 10% of people in America are uninsured - the lowest rate ever.
Republican Senators and Representatives want to vote this month to take away this coverage with only a vague promise to replace it with “something better.” That's not acceptable for our patients.
The public outcry about this is growing louder every day, and it's starting to work. Four Republican Senators have publicly said that they are concerned about repealing the ACA without putting forward a replacement plan. We need three Republican Senators to commit to vote no on a rushed repeal.
Whether your Senators and Representative want to improve the ACA or repeal it, your outreach to their offices will be valuable. Tell them what repeal would mean to you personally. A simple phone call from a physician makes a huge difference! If you want to go the extra mile, ask to meet with them or their staff this month. Ask to set up a meeting in their local district office (or in DC if you're willing to travel) and invite other physician advocates to come with your representing our united voice. If they are on your side, you can be a valuable resource for them as a physician in the trenches they can draw on for support. If they're not on your side, this is our opportunity to show them we value patients over politics and they should too.
Our goal is to make sure every Senator and House member hears from us. Are you in?
Kyle Ragins is a member of the Doctors for America Board of Directors and serves as an emergency medicine resident physician at UCLA.
Doctors for America is on the front lines of fighting to protect millions of people and their right to health care. Many of us have moments of disbelief that instead of moving forward to build on and expand existing coverage, we are actually talking about repealing major coverage provisions of the Affordable Care Act.
What gives me strength to be hopeful and defiant are my patients and this movement. That is why Doctors for America is doubling down by joining forces with major national organizations to launch the Protect Our Care Coalition and the Alliance for Healthcare Security. We are standing side by side with other doctors, nurses, hospitals, patients, young people, moms, policy experts, and more to raise our voices and make sure America knows that the majority of the nation stands with us.
Our first grassroots action starts today with our Provider Day of Action in partnership with doctors, nurses, and other health care providers. Thank you to the hundreds of people who are joining our Thunderclap at 3:30 pm Eastern.
Now we are calling on everyone to join colleagues across the country in sharing the stories of your patients by taking a photo and submitting it to our Tumblr page, which we can all use to share stories with the nation, Congress, and the President-Elect. Share your story using this template.
Powerful stories are already coming in from across the country. Here are a few highlights of doctors speaking out:
“Without Medicaid, my patients would not have access to preventative medicine preventing complications of diabetes.”
– Dr. John Borzok, University Hospital, NJ
“Without coverage, 50-year old patient must choose between paying medical bills and providing food and shelter for family.”
– Dr. Afua Kunadu, NY
“Without access to preventative screening, would not have diagnosed COLON CANCER in time for 52 year old woman.”
– Dr. Sabrina Taldone, FL
The time is short to make your voice heard on behalf of patients. Please join us!
Alice Chen, MD
P.S. Don’t forget the upcoming deadline for marketplace coverage starting January 1, 2017 is December 15, 2016. Make certain to spread the word to encourage your patients to get covered for 2017!
Our stories and the stories of our patients will be heard.
The new Congress will be sworn in on January 3. They are making plans to repeal major components of the Affordable Care Act - including individual subsidies, Medicaid expansion, employer and individual mandates, and more. They could have it on the new President's desk to sign on Inauguration Day - just 39 days from now.
According to a study released this week by the Urban Institute (1), this would cause a collapse of the individual insurance market, and the number of uninsured people would rise by 28.9 million, which is a larger number of uninsured than before the ACA.
We wanted to work on more affordable and better quality coverage. But now millions of our patients are scared that they will lose the coverage they have. Our patients need to know that we will keep fighting for them.
That's why we are calling on everyone in the Doctors for America movement to stand up and tell the human impact of these political conversations in whatever way you can - through newspapers, radio, TV, blogs, social media, and in your community.
We are teaming up with medical and public health organizations from across the country this Monday, December 12th, on a Digital Day of Actionwith two fast ways you can speak up:
1. Join our social media Thunderclap by signing up before 3pm ET on Monday. In case you're not familiar, a Thunderclap allows a single message to be mass-shared, flash mob-style, so it rises above the noise of social networks.
2. The Thunderclap will link to a Tumblr page where you can share your patients' stories. From there, you can share the story with your Senators and member of Congress. You can find the sign to print and share your story here.
Let's use our collective power and make the voices of doctors and medical students heard before it's too late.
-- DFA HQ
P.S. Even as we work to keep America covered in the long run, it's important for everyone to know that the insurance marketplaces is open for 2017 coverage! People need to sign up by December 15th for coverage starting January 1. Most people will qualify for a subsidy to lower their costs. No matter what happens in Congress, we expect coverage to be there for the year. They can& shop, sign up, or find an in person assister at healthcare.gov.
On this Giving Tuesday, I thought I would share what DFA means to me and what it means for patients across the country.
We have had our time to grieve and now we must act.
President-elect Donald Trump and the new Congress have threatened to repeal the Affordable Care Act on day one. And, day one is just around the corner in January. That means we need to make our voices heard right now with Senators who will be crucial in this fight.
We need to send a clear message that doctors, medical students and those who care about the health of the nation won’t go backward to a time when Americans struggled to get the care they needed.
Tell them to protect the gains we have made under the Affordable Care Act and protect the health coverage of millions of Americans.
Our patients need us now more than ever. I hope you will join us.
Over the last eight years, we have given so much of ourselves to improve the health of our nation. Together, we have celebrated many victories and wept over defeats. During this time of great uncertainty for our country and our patients, let us spend this Thanksgiving with our loved ones resting and rejuvenating ourselves. There will be tremendous work ahead, but whatever the future holds we will surmount it together.
On behalf of the entire leadership team, thank you to the Doctors for America community. Your love for your patients and our shared value of health care and justice for all sustains us throughout the year. I know that together we will work to protect and expand our vision of a healthier America.
Thanks for all you do,
Scott Poppen, MD MPA - Vice Chair
Today marks the start of the Open Enrollment period for the health insurance marketplace. While millions of Americans have gained coverage since the first enrollment period, there are still many patients who remain unaware or confused about their coverage options and the financial assistancethat could help them lower their monthly costs. In fact, it is easier than ever to navigate plans and enroll in coverage this year.
Together, we will keep spreading the facts as we seek to build upon the successes of the ACA and improve the health of our patients and communities.
Yours in service,
Mona Mangat, MD
Board of Directors - Chair, DFA