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Coalition of Doctor Organizations: “Our Patients Deserve the Choice of a Public Health Insurance Option”


For Immediate Release
June 15, 2009

ContactTim Foley, 212.356.8100 / 646.229.1379

Groups Representing 215,000 Physicians and Physicians-in-Training Support Legislators Fighting for
Quality, Affordable Health Care for All

Doctors from several national organizations issued a statement this morning in support of achieving health care reform
this year, including the creation of a robust, high-quality public health insurance option. The statement by these organizations, which combined represent 215,000 physicians and physicians-in-training, reads: “As doctors we see patients every day who are more afraid of their medical bills than their illnesses. It frustrates and saddens us to care for patients with what began as a simple and inexpensive medical problem, but has developed into a life-threatening condition. It makes us angry to see children suffering from treatable illnesses, like asthma, in the Emergency Room because they literally have nowhere else to go.”

“All doctors need to work together to solve our health care crisis. Part of this solution should be the inclusion of a
high-quality public health insurance option that competes fairly with private plans.”


Representatives of these groups will host a press conference call Monday at 4 p.m. EDT to explain why they strongly support President Obama’s push for major reforms, including a public health insurance option.

Please email Tim Foley at if you plan to attend the call.

What: Press Call on Doctors’ Strong Support for the Public Health Insurance Option

When: Monday, June 15 at 4:00 PM EDT

Call In: 1-800-214-0694 ID: 109827

Dr. Toni Lewis, M.D., President, CIR/SEIU Healthcare

Dr. Valerie Arkoosh, President-Elect, National Physicians Alliance

Dr. Vivek Murthy, M.D., M.B.A., President, Doctors for America

Signing onto the statement are the following organizations:

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) is the national association of family doctors. It is one of the
largest national medical organizations, with more than 95,000 members in 50 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, the Virgin
Islands, and Guam. The Academy was founded to promote and maintain high quality standards for family doctors who
are providing continuing comprehensive health care to the public.

The American Medical Student Association (AMSA), with a half-century history of medical student activism, is the
oldest and largest independent association of physicians-in-training in the United States. With a membership of more
than 67,000 medical students, premedical students, interns, residents and practicing physicians from across the
country, AMSA continues its commitment to improving medical training and the nation's health.
The Committee of Interns and Residents is the largest housestaff union in the country, representing more than
13,000 resident physicians in California, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Washington,
D.C., and Puerto Rico. CIR is an affiliate of SEIU Healthcare, which represents over 1 million healthcare workers all
over the country.

Doctors Council is a union of doctors, for doctors, run by doctors. Doctos Council strives to provide better patient
care, to prevent abuses and correct inequities in the delivery of medical and dental services to the public, to insure
adequate compensation and working conditions for our members, and to voice the professional concerns of doctors.
As a proud member of SEIU with 4,000 members, Doctors Council is a successful voice for doctors and patient care.

Doctors for America works to convey the ideas and experiences of physicians to achieve healthcare reform based on
four key pillars: affordable coverage, expanded access to care, high quality care, and practice environments that allow
physicians to focus on patient care. With 10,000 members, Doctors for America seeks to bring together physicians
from different regions and specialties for a specific purpose: to make their voices heard in the healthcare reform effort
by the government and by the public.

The National Doctors Alliance (NDA) advocates for the occupational and professional interests of doctors. It is a
community of doctors from all specialties and a part of SEIU Healthcare. NDA works in the community and in the
legislative and regulatory arenas, locally and nationally.

The National Physicians Alliance (NPA) is founded to restore physicians' primary emphasis on the core values of
our profession: service, integrity, and advocacy. As a diverse physician community with 20,000 members, we work to
improve health and well being, and to ensure equitable, affordable, high quality health care for all people.

The Student National Medical Association (SNMA) is committed to supporting current and future
underrepresented minority medical students, addressing the needs of underserved communities, and increasing the
number of clinically excellent, culturally competent and socially conscious physicians. It is the nation's oldest and
largest student organization focused on the needs and concerns of its membership, which includes more than 8,000
medical students, pre-medical students, residents and physicians.

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