FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 21, 2009
Nation’s Doctors Join Together, Unveil New Print Ad Urging Action on Health Care Reform
500,000 doctors from the country’s largest physicians’ organizations emphasize the need for reform to better care for patients
Washington, D.C.- Today doctors’ groups representing more than 500,000 physicians nationwide announced they have come together in a new effort urging Congress to pass comprehensive health care reform. In the unprecedented joint endeavor, an array of prominent doctors’ organizations has signed on to a print ad that will run in Roll Call’s print and online editions this week.
The ad, unveiled today at a press conference in Washington, emphasizes that real health care reform is urgently needed so that doctors can better care for their patients. [NOTE: A copy of the ad can be seen at http://www.doctors-support-reform.org.]
“The status quo is unacceptable,” said J. James Rohack, M.D., President of the American Medical Association, one of the groups sponsoring the ad. “America has the best health care in the world, but it's out of reach for too many people because they lack health insurance. Physicians are joining together to encourage Congress to seize this year's opportunity to make real improvements to the health system for patients and physicians.”
“If health reform fails, the result will be more uninsured patients, more families going bankrupt because of high health care bills, more cherry-picking, more Medicare insolvency, and continuation of a payment system that undervalues the care provided by internists, leading many young physicians to choose other fields,” said Joseph W. Stubbs, MD, FACP, and President of the American College of Physicians. “This is not a future I want for my patients or our noble profession.”
The groups who have signed on to the ad represent pediatricians, family physicians, surgeons, obstetricians and others, and include some of the nation’s largest and most influential medical organizations. The ad will appear in Roll Call’s print and online editions this week. Copies of the ad will also be delivered to every Congressional office by the doctors, and prints of the ad will be hung in doctors’ offices across the country.
“Doctors have a real stake in this effort,” said Dr. L. Toni Lewis, President of the Committee of Interns and Residents/SEIU Healthcare. “We have put off reform in the past, only to see even more patients unable to afford the care we prescribe, even more of our judgments overruled by insurance companies, and even fewer investments in primary care, prevention, health IT, and developing the physician workforce of tomorrow. Now is the time for dramatic change to improve the welfare of our communities and the financial health of our hospitals.”
“This is an unprecedented, historic moment, when so many diverse and well-respected American medical organizations stand in agreement that our patients need bold and comprehensive health reform,” said Jean Silver-Isenstadt, President of the National Physicians Alliance. “America's doctors are saying that our current health insurance system is not working for patient care. This ad is a prescription for change.”
“The American Academy of Pediatrics supports the passage of health care reform and believes that reform should provide health insurance coverage for all children, provide age-appropriate benefits in a medical home, and offer reasonable payment to assure access to services,” said David T. Tayloe, Jr., MD, FAAP, and President of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
“The president and Congress have been moving ahead with alacrity, and it’s important for them to know physicians are behind them every step of the way,” said Dr. Barry Liebowitz, President of SEIU’s Doctors Council. “We pride ourselves on being advocates not just for our profession but for our patients. Health care reform would mean more money for prevention, better resources for physicians, less uncompensated care for hospitals, and more affordable options for families. This must be the year to finally achieve meaningful reform.”
“The current reform effort may not be all things to all people, but it will provide unprecedented coverage for all Americans. This is especially important for communities of color who are a disproportionate share of the uninsured.” said Dr. Willarda Edwards, President of the National Medical Association
“As a physician on the front lines of health care, I know that the system is broken, and if we do nothing, it will get worse. That's why Doctors for America members across the country are standing up to support health care reform. We will continue to work with Congress, the President, and our communities to make sure we achieve effective reform this year,” said Dr. Mandy Krauthamer, Executive Director of Doctors for America.
“Health care reform is imperative for doctors to continue to provide the best care possible for their patients,” said Ted Epperly, M.D., President of the American Academy of Family Physicians. “We raise our voices in unison to call on Congress to fix this broken system before it is beyond repair.”
The ad features endorsements by the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Physicians, the American College of Surgeons, the American Medical Association, the American Medical Student Association, the American Osteopathic Association, Doctors for America, the National Medical Association, the National Physicians Alliance, and SEIU’s Committee of Interns and Residents, Doctors Council, and National Doctors Alliance.
A copy of the ad can be seen at http://www.doctors-support-reform.org.