2015 has been a big year for Doctors for America and the health of the nation. This week, we launch our end-of-year fundraising drive so we can keep going strong into 2016. We have so much to celebrate. Here are a few highlights from the year:
King v. Burwell: Doctors for America was at the forefront of the monumental King v. Burwell Supreme Court case. We made headlines and made sure the case was understood as a matter of people’s health and lives – not politics. The Court’s decision in favor of the ACA kept 6.4 million people from losing their ability to pay for health insurance.
Medicaid Expansion: We kept the heat on state legislators and governors to expand Medicaid in a dozen states including Utah, Texas, Florida, Maine, and North Carolina.
Supporting Key Health Issues: Through the year, Doctors for America supported efforts to renew the Children’s Health Insurance Program, prevent the defunding of Planned Parenthood, address rising drug prices, and protect the nation’s investments in prevention and low-income nutrition programs.
Celebrating our Surgeon General: We celebrated in person or on Periscope the change of command ceremony for our nation’s 19th Surgeon General, our former president and co-founder Dr. Vivek Murthy.
National Leadership Conference: We had our most highly rated National Leadership Conference ever with engaging speakers on social determinants of health, food insecurity, remaining barriers to access, racial disparities, advocacy, and physician wellness.
CDC Gun Research Ban: We made national and international news when we demanded that that Congress end the ban on CDC and NIH gun violence research – just hours before another mass shooting in San Bernardino. Our #EndTheBan hashtag made over 3.2 million Twitter impressions in just 24 hours. We brought together 68 of the nation’s leading medical and public health organizations. And, both President Obama and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi spoke up on the issue.
In 2016, we have exciting opportunities to keep moving forward on improving the health of the nation.
As we continue to push on expanding Medicaid, we are hearing rumblings that a couple of states are getting ready to move. We will be right there to build momentum and make the case that expansion is good for people and good for states. We are also building a new campaign on Making the Most of Medicaid, which we will roll out in the early part of the year.
We are also opening a new focus on food insecurity, which affects one in seven of our patients - even though most of us don't know it. Hunger is a health issue that impacts the ability of our patients to be healthy and to keep their chronic conditions in check. Keep your eyes out for our new Food as Medicine initiative, and let us know if you have particular expertise in this area.
We will also work to build on our momentum to remove the CDC and NIH gun research restrictions. Plus, we have opportunities to bring physician voices to the challenges of rising drug prices, national and international policies on curbing and treating substance abuse including opioids, Supreme Court cases challenging access to abortions and contraception, payment reform efforts, and the myriad other issues that affect the lives of our patients. Of course, with the change of administration on the horizon, we will also be watching carefully to make sure the concerns of doctors and our patients are at the forefront.
Through it all, we will build new avenues to recruit, train, and support physicians and medical students to be the best advocates they can be for their patients and for a healthier America.
Thank you to all our members and supporters for making Doctors for America possible.
One final note, we rely on individual donations for the majority of our budget. As we close one year and open a new one, we hope that everyone can contribute whatever we can to ensure that Doctors for America can keep fighting for the health of the nation.