Over 1,300 DFA Members speak out on access to contraception. The ACA calls for the provision of preventive services, including contraception coverage, without copays to all covered individuals. Last month HHS Secretary Sebelius announced that exemptions for this coverage would be allowed for churches when they purchase insurance for their employees, but ruling that other religious organizations that make coverage available to their employees - such as hospitals and educational institutions - would not be exempt. This quickly erupted into an intense political firestorm , and DFA moved quickly to make our position clearly heard at the highest levels of government.
Physicians and medical students from all 50 states signed our open letter supporting accessability of contraception to all insured women. Our infograph was viewed over 100,000 times. Our willingness to speak out boldly and unequivocally on this issue has drawn the attention and appreciation of White House advisors as well as organizations such as Planned Parenthood, The National Women’s Law Center, and the Center for American Progress. The petition received wide attention from media outlets like MSNBC’s Hardball, The International Business Times, PBS and NBC affiliates, and across major blogs.
In response to the heated controversy President Obama last week agreed to concessions that will exempt some religious institutions from providing these preventive services, but safeguards have been put in place to make sure that the insurance companies will have to provide free contraceptive services to employees under separate arrangement.
Doctors for America is establishing its place in the world of organized medicine with its ability to quickly generate physician participation and public attention around the most contentious or controversial issues of health care policy. We are willing to take a public stand on issues that matter to our patients, and we know how to do it effectively. We will continue to push hard on the contraception issue and expand our reach with blog posts and letters to editors. And we will be heard.
Here is some of the press coverage we got:
- MSNBC Hardball with Chris Matthews (showed and mentioned our petition)
- Washington Post (mentioned our petition)
- International Business Tribune: 70 Catholic Doctors Sign Petition Supporting Obama Birth Control Mandate
- Baltimore Sun Op-Ed (by Meghana Desale, Lorena Leite, Tatyana Lyapustina, Kathryn Miele, Amir Mohareb, Samuel Scharff, Naomi Rios and Katie Washington)
- CBS affiliate in Florida (featuring Dr. Rashmi Murthy)
- San Antonio Express-News Letter to the Editor (by Dr. Robert Luedecke)
- SF Chronicle (quoted Dr. Claire Broome)
- KIQI (Spanish-language talk radio, interviewed Dr. Laura Davies)
- KOCO TV in Oklahoma City (interviewed Dr. Kathy Scheirman)
- KIRO radio in Seattle, WA (interviewed medical student Natalie Hale)
- Colorado Springs (interviewed Dr. Lila Rosenthal)
- The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (front page article featuring Dr. Gayathri Kumar on 2/11 - print only)