Today is my final day as Executive Director of Doctors for America. I awoke this morning with a sense of pride and gratitude for all we have done together and a sense of possibility … Continue Reading
** To speak with a DFA member or representative contact, Brannon Jordan at 202-481-8190 or Brannon(dot)Jordan(at)drsforamerica.org. **
Doctors for America making headlines across the country:
VIDEO: DFA's Executive Director Dr. Alice Chen talks with CSPAN about health coverage on the first day of open enrollment for 2016.
Dr. Mona Mangat penned an op-ed in the Orlando Sentinel urging Florida leaders to close the coverage gap for nearly one million in need of care.
Five years after the passage of the ACA, Dr. Alice Chen calls for leaders in 22 states to put patients over politics and expand Medicaid in a Huffington Post blog.
Dr. Donald Nguyen pens a powerful op-ed in the Cincinnati Inquirer celebrating the 5 year anniversary of the ACA and the millions of reasons to celebrate.
VIDEO: Dr. Alice Chen took the opportunity to do some truth telling with the host of Varney & Co on Fox Business the day before the Marketplaces opened.
AP: Final Push to Educate Floridians about Health Law “Doctors are also using their platform to educate patients. Dr. Mona Mangat, a St. Petersburg immunologist, helped mobilize more than 500 Florida doctors and medical students under Doctors for America. ‘Everyone's gotten of tired of the politics of it and they just want to understand it. When you sit down and talk about it in a non-threatening, non-political fashion...patients are hungry for the information.’”
Dayton Daily News: Insurers Compete for New Health Care Exchanges in Ohio “But fewer choices is better than no choice for the throngs of uninsured who have never had health insurance before and are now guaranteed coverage, said Dr. Donald Nguyen, a Dayton-area pediatrician and state director for Doctors for America — a national organization of physicians and medical students who support health care reform. ‘It’s not like people are going to be standing in line and can’t get in to see a doctor,’ Nguyen said. ‘New patients seeking coverage through the marketplaces won’t be coming online fast enough to overwhelm the system. And just because they have insurance doesn’t meant they’ll use it right away. They just won’t hesitate to use it once they get sick.’”
OETA: VIDEO: Obamacare and Insure Oklahoma “Oklahomans who don't have access to affordable health insurance under an employer or government-sponsored plan can begin purchasing coverage through the new health insurance marketplace on October 1st. The enrollment period runs through the end of March, 2014. There's been a lot of confusion about the new system, so today we're going to try to bring some clarity to Obamacare and Insure Oklahoma with Nico Gomez, Chief Executive of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority; Andrew Rice, former state senator and Executive Director of the Variety Care Foundation; Matt Ball of Americans for Prosperity; and, Dr. Katherine Scheirman, State Director of Doctors for America and retired colonel in the U.S. Air Force.”
City Sentinel: Good Medicine Poetry Event Sparks Interest in Obamacare “Katherine Scheirman, M.D., Doctors for America Oklahoma State Director and event co-sponsor said, ‘I want to make sure that everyone knows that starting Oct. 1, many people in Oklahoma are going to be eligible for private health insurance through the healthcare marketplace.’ Scheirman says Oklahomans will be able to compare and select from private health insurance plans online by visiting healthcare.gov or by calling 1-800-318-2596.”
WESA Radio: Addressing Your Questions On the Affordable Care Act “As Pennsylvania Director of Doctors for America, Dr. Christopher Hughes has fielded many patient questions about the affordable care act and the health exchange. He says ‘In general, just like the health insurance you have now, there are going to be restrictions. And often times the less expensive your policy is, the less choice you’re going to have in doctors and hospitals.’ For those who currently have health policies that don’t include the preventive services required by the affordable care act, a new plan will have to be acquired. Hughes says theoretically, everyone should be covered by some level of insurance. But people have fallen through the cracks because they didn’t know they qualified for Medicaid until they got to a hospital or doctor for an emergency.”
Utah Statesman: Enrollment for Affordable Care Act Opens “‘Obamacare’ is a heavily-loaded phrase many health care myths are attached to. Some common pieces of misinformation about the act is that the medical community is against it, young adults will be driven to bankruptcy and it’s a government takeover of health care, according to Dr. Scott Poppen, the Utah State director for Doctors for America. ‘I think that there’s a huge amount of confusion among the population in general, probably even more so for the younger population about what this all involves,’ Poppen said. ‘Even physicians are confused about it.’”
San Antonio Express News: Residents Hopeful, Leery on Health Law “For Dr. Robert Luedecke, a San Antonio anesthesiologist, the marketplace is a relief. Luedecke, 56, relies on health insurance through his wife’s workplace. He has struggled with serious neck problems for years that prompted surgeons to remove a disintegrated disc from his spine in 2005. When his wife considered retiring from her banking job three years ago, the couple learned their health insurance costs would soar to $2,000 a month if she stopped working, Luedecke said. ‘I was totally shocked at that time, but I understand — I’m expensive, ‘ said Luedecke, who still has muscle spasms and neurological symptoms. He said his medications would exceed $1,200 a month if he were uninsured. ‘It is a very helpless feeling to know that even though I have worked very hard and I am a doctor, because I have a pre-existing condition, I am totally dependent on my wife’s job to be able to get health insurance, ‘ Luedecke said in an email. ‘It’s a wonderful feeling to know that because of health insurance reform, I will no longer have to worry.’”
PATIENTS OVER POLITICS BUS TOUR SUMMARY AND MEDIA PACKET (August-September, 2012)
In the summer of 2012, Doctors for America embarked on a 12-day journey across four states to educate the public about the importance of the Affordable Care Act. We had more than 60,000,000 media impressions during the trip. Take a look at our tour summary and media clips!
SELECTED PRESS CLIPS from the ACA Anniversary and Supreme Court Hearings
Between March 19 and March 28, we had media mentions in over 180 different publications in 43 different states.
Doctor group touts health care act
Press turned out for an ACA education presentation led by DFA's Ohio Co-State Director, Dr. Don Nguyen.
Dozens march, chant, play jazz outside high court - Associated Press (March 26)
This Associated Press article, quoting Dr. Alice Chen at the health care provider press conference, has been picked up by hundreds of publications.
Cat and dog take Supreme Court arguments in stride - NPR (March 26)
Featuring Georgetown med student Kate Prather and her dog Ellie.
Justices seem eager to hear mandate question - Family Practice News (March 26)
Mentioning Dr. Vivek Murthy and featuring a video interview with Dr. Alice Chen.
Doctors, dogs, Tea Partiers, feminists, and Rick Santorum: Scenes from the health care protests outside the Supreme Court - GQ Magazine (March 26)
Featuring Georgetown med students Kate Prather and Liz Oler, as well as new DFA mascot Ellie.
Doctors Rally for Health Care Law - GPB News (March 26)
Coalition of Healthcare Organizations Demonstrate in Favor of the Healthcare Law - WABE = Local NPR/PBS (March 26)
Affordable Care Act makes our lives better - Patriot News (Pennsylvania, March 25)
Op-ed from DFA's Executive Director, Dr. Alice Chen
PoliticsNation - MSNBC (March 26)
Featuring video of Dr. Alice Chen on Al Sharpton's show.
Physician, breast cancer survivor rally for health care law - FoxNews (March 26)
Dr. Michael Newman with Spike Dolomite.
The Sean Hannity Show (March 26)
Interview with Dr. Chris Lillis
The Jack Rice Show (March 26)
Interview with Dr. Manisha Sharma
Outside the Supreme Court on March 26, we had pictures of several DFA physicians and med students snapped and picked up nationally by the Associated Press and others.
- Different photo of Kate and Ellie
- Pictures of health provider press conference + Sonia and Kate w/ Ellie
- Dr. Vivek Murthy at the Supreme Court
AUDIO: Dr. Chris Lillis on 'Right Now with Coy Barefoot' Radio Show
Charlottesville Right Now - March 23, 2012 - 1070 WINA Newsradio
Listen here: http://bit.ly/GWzDzU
It’s not perfect, but Hoosiers are benefiting
Indianapolis Star - March 23, 2012 - by Andrew P. Loehrer, M.D.
"Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller’s March 21 My View addressed his legal perspective on the Affordable Care Act. However, much was omitted when considering the impact of the law on Hoosier patients. As a physician in Indiana, I know all too well that health care in the Hoosier state needs improvement, but attacking Obamacare is not the solution."
VIDEO: 'You're Covered -- The End of Pre-Existing Conditions'
Politico - March 23, 2012
"Doctors for America will come out today with a video by that name. Here it is: http://bit.ly/GTM1lT."
Care Providers on the Affordable Care Act
Business Week - March 22, 2012
"Dr. Kohar Jones, 34, is a family physician who works part-time at the Chicago Family Health Center, a community clinic on the South Side of the city...In many ways ACA is health insurance reform rather than health-care reform. There have been some important changes to protect patients from lack of coverage."
Health-Care Law, Not State, Should Prevail
Indianapolis Star - March 22, 2012 - by Todd Hassee
"Beginning Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court hosts three days of competition between the federal government and a team of 26 states, including Indiana. At stake: the future of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. You can’t watch this play out live on television, but it’s important to understand each side, why the health-care law should prevail, and why that’s the best outcome for Hoosiers."
SEIU Nurses Provide Care for Marchers in Alabama!
SEIU.org - March 14, 2012
"At intermittent times throughout the week, our nurses' team was accompanied by Dr. Toni Lewis, Chair of the SEIU Healthcare Division and Dr. Ellison from Doctors for America . Can you imagine what a mobile medic unit would have been like for our predecessors marching in 1965? Sisters Judith and Eva said that they treated more than 30 people during the week. "
Surgeon General To Speak at Harvard On National Prevention Strategy
Common Health - March 12, 2012
"Doctors for America sent over an invitation to hear the U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Regina Benjamin, speak at Harvard Medical School on March 21 about the national prevention strategy (Did you know we had one?) as it nears its first anniversary."
The Contraception Controversy as Seen Through a Doctor's Lens
Huffington Post - February 24, 2012 - by Maggie Kozel, M.D.
"I see the primary symptom of our dysfunctional health care system as being the unrelenting erosion of the doctor-patient relationship -- a relationship that is central to health and healing. And I see this latest distraction from meaningful health care reform -- an employer's wish to define what kinds of access to health care are appropriate for his employees -- as just one more assault on that very intimate and healing dynamic."
State Director for Doctors for America explains the Affordable Care Act
The City Sentinel - February 21, 2012
"Recently, a local expert and strong supporter of the ACA presented her views during the Oklahoma County Democratic Party weekly luncheon. Among other points, she contends surveys indicate most Americans don’t know basic facts about the ACA, and most think it’s too complicated to understand. Katherine Scheirman, MD, Oklahoma State Director for Doctors for America and retired US Air Force Colonel said, 'The basics are simple, 32 million more Americans will be insured, the worst insurance company abuses will end, and we’ll start improving quality and controlling costs for everyone.'"
The Right to Birth Control
Baltimore Sun - February 14, 2012 - by Max Romano
"The Affordable Care Act does not require anyone to receive health care services that they do not want; it allows Americans to avoid unintended pregnancies through safe and effective means. Our country's employment-based health insurance system does not give employers the standing to deny their employees safe and effective health care."
70 Catholic Doctors Sign Petition Supporting Obama Birth Control Mandate
International Business Times - February 8, 2012
"Since Wednesday morning, 600 physicians and medical students from 49 states -- including 70 who identify themselves as Catholics -- have added their name to a Doctors For America petition asking Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Obama to stand strong on the rule, which would allow women to access contraception through their insurance plans without co-pays."
Island author speaks about issues surrounding affordable health care
Jamestown Press - January 26, 2012 -
"By 2014, the nation’s health care system is scheduled to undergo major reforms when the first phases of the Patient’s Protection and Affordable Care Act go into effect. The new law is more than 1,000 pages long, according to Dr. Maggie Kozel of Jamestown. Most Americans have not read the fine print, she said on Sunday, as she explained the basic changes on the way."
No, Doctors Don't Hate Obamacare
The New Republic - January 19, 2012 - by Vivek Murthy & Harold Pollack
"In the nearly two years since the Act was passed, we have heard many stories from colleagues around the country who belong to Doctors for America, an independent organization with which we are both affiliated. These physician are in private practice and academia, primary care and specialties, and in rural and urban areas. They are all seeing the impact of health care reform."
Attorneys general urge Supreme Court to rule individual mandate legal
Insurance & Financial Advisor - January 17, 2012
"Attorneys general from 11 states and Washington, D.C., have filed court papers in the federal health reform law case, arguing that the individual mandate forcing all Americans to buy health insurance, starting in 2014, is constitutional."
Doctors for America - Event
National Journal - January 16, 2012
"Doctors for America holds events to kick off "a year-long campaign to educate the public about the importance of the Affordable Care Act." The One Million Campaign's goal for 2012 is to educate 1 million members of the public about the facts so health reform can move forward."
Attorneys general file amicus briefs with Supreme Court for individual mandate
EmaxHealth - January 16, 2012
"On January 13, Attorneys general from 11 states, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands filed amicus curiae (friend-of-the-court) briefs in regard to the healthcare reform case before the U.S. Supreme Court. The Attorneys general - all Democrats - argue that the requirement for individuals to obtain health insurance coverage falls within the constitution's Commerce Clause, which permits Congress to regulate interstate commerce."
Leaders: Hospitalist Champions Health Reform
Hospitalist News - January 1, 2012 (Interview with Vivek Murthy)
"One thing I’ve realized is that most doctors don’t understand just how powerful their voice really is. They don’t realize how much power they have just by virtue of their own experiences and the kind of work they do in society. For example, I was speaking to a congressman’s staffer one day, and he told me that his office gets calls all the time from constituents, but if they get a call from just one doctor, that’s something notable. If 10 doctors call in, that means something major has happened."
Letter to the Editor: Reforms are important state issue
October 5, 2011 - by Dr. Lisa Plymate
"Are you really trying to argue that health-care reform isn’t an important issue for our state’s leaders to discuss? This is a national policy that has tremendous budgetary and political implications for our state. Our next governor will play a pivotal role in either helping or hindering the implementation of these reforms."
Op Ed: Hippocratic Oath - Is law for the good of patients? YES.
October 2, 2011 - by Dr. Chris Lillis
"I am eager to help shape continued improvements to our health care system that the act has begun, and to take these innovations further to best serve the American people. By becoming informed about the facts of the law, you may be a part of improving our health care system, too."
Letter to the Editor: Safety net should be preserved
September 22, 2011 - by Dr. Megan deBell
"Balancing the budget on the backs of the state’s most vulnerable, in the form of less funding to essential health care services, as some legislators are calling for, comes with a hefty price tag. When people, like the clients I serve every day, lose access to health care, they turn to more expensive care in emergency rooms. This results in higher premiums for the already insured as costs are passed on to consumers."
Kriseman files bill to repeal "Docs vs. Glocks" legislation
September 13, 2011
"Will it be okay for the legislature or the governor to make it illegal to ask parents of asthmatic children if they smoke? Would it be okay with them if we ask patients with sexually transmitted diseases about their sexual habits or if they use protection? Is it still going to be okay to ask patients if they drink alcohol or use intravenous drugs? Are the proponents of this law trying to practice medicine without a license? I think so." --Dr. Mona Mangat
Rep. Kriseman proposing repeal of gag law blocking doctors from asking patients questions about gun safety
September 8, 2011
Dr. Mona Mangat, the Southern Regional Director for Doctors for America, praised Rep. Rick Kriseman for filing the legislation to repeal the doctor “gag rule.”
“Over 200 physicians across Florida have signed a petition urging the Legislature to repeal the doctor “gag rule,” a law that prevents us from asking our patients questions about gun safety and providing them with information that would keep Floridians safe from injury or death from accidental gun shots. On behalf of doctors that urged the repeal of the law, we want to thank Representative Kriseman for hearing our voices to restore the doctor-patient relationship by introducing House Bill 4015.”
Appeals court upholds healthcare law
September 8, 2011
“As a physician, I have observed overcrowding in the emergency department and unnecessary suffering resulting from Americans lack of health insurance. I applaud the decision by the Federal Appeals Court today. Upholding the Affordable Care Act is critical to improving the health and health care system in our country,” said Dr. Chris Lillis, a Fredericksburg physician and member of the Virginia Organizing Health Care Committee.
Maryland health leaders see Chris Van Hollen as ally in budget talks
September 2, 2011
“He has been an ally; we’re not trying to change his mind,” Brian Waldersen, Maryland director of Doctors for America. That group is also calling on its members to contact Van Hollen to show support for Medicare, Medicaid and federal health care reform passed in 2010. “That confidence is going to be important to him.”
Doctors For America Protest Proposed Medicare Cuts
July 25, 2011
Members of Doctors for America delivered a petition Monday morning to the Troy office of Speaker of the House John Boehner. The organization handed the petitions over to show that physicians and medical students strongly oppose proposed cuts to Medicare and Medicaid that are currently being discussed in Congress.
Doctors, others in Va. urge Cantor to rethink Medicaid, Medicare cuts
July 25, 2011
A group of doctors and community leaders in Virginia delivered a signed petition to Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), discouraging him from pushing for cuts to Medicare and Medicaid as part of his efforts to resolve the federal debt ceiling debate.
Who's Singing "Happy Birthday" to the Health Care Law
March 23, 2011
“Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday, Health Care Law… Happy Birthday to you,” sang Tampa Bay residents and members of Doctors for America and Florida CHAIN. The two groups threw the law its first birthday party in downtown St. Petersburg Wednesday night.
Health Care Providers: What They're Saying About the Affordable Care Act
January 19, 2011
Doctors for America - “As doctors, we see how our broken health care system is failing patients and health care providers. Passing and implementing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is an important first step to fixing a broken system, and we must continue to move forward. Repealing the health care reform law will only move our health care system backward – and millions of patients simply can’t afford that. We urge the new Congress to work with patients and providers to improve the health reform law so we can build a health care system that works for everyone.”
Republicans Want to Repeal Your Healthcare
January 18, 2011
A Republican Party attempt to repeal health reform would put as many as 129 million Americans in jeopardy of being denied health insurance coverage, says a new report from the Department of Health and Human Services. Provisions of the law that protect millions of people from discrimination by insurance companies due to preexisting conditions would be eliminated if a Republican Party attempt to repeal the law is successful.
House GOP prepares for health care repeal vote
January 18, 2011
Republican efforts to stymie the health care law passed last year aren't likely to end with a planned House vote Wednesday to repeal it, even if the effort dies in the Senate, according to opponents and supporters of the law. Instead, Republican opponents are already talking about ways to delay the law's implementation or cut its funding.
Health reform law discussed at forum
January 9, 2011
Where's the money coming from to pay for the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act? Will it really kill jobs? Why has it triggered lawsuits? And shouldn't it have done more about tort reform? Joanne Grossi, regional director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services office in Philadelphia, and Dr. Christopher Lillis, a Fredericksburg internist, were peppered with these questions and more during yesterday's Fredericksburg Health Care Forum.
Doctors Petition Boehner, Cantor to Drop Repeal Effort
January 7, 2011
With House members clearing the way Friday for a vote next week to repeal the new health care law, or 'Affordable Care Act,' political pundits around the country are calling the move ceremonial. The measure has little chance of passing in the Democratically-controlled Senate. Its prospects for surviving a presidential veto are even dimmer. Nonetheless, the national group 'Doctors for America' is petitioning Richmond Congressman Eric Cantor, the new House Majority Leader, to drop the repeal efforts anyway.
Doctors show support for health-care reform
January 7, 2011
Doctors for America’s Virginia State Director, Dr. Chris Lillis, along with other Doctors for America members delivered a petition to Representative Eric Cantor (R-VA) and held a press conference outside his district office on Thursday, January 6.
Residents deliver petitions: ‘Strenghten, don’t repeal health care law’ supporters visit Boehner’s Troy office
January 7, 2011
While Republicans in Congress promise an effort to repeal health care reform legislation, Troy resident Larry Salyers wholeheartedly supports the new health care act.
Petition Supporting Health Care Delivered to Boehner’s Office
January 6, 2011
On Thursday morning, more than 2,000 physicians and medical students across the county voiced their support for health care reform by signing a petition urging the new leaders of Congress to strengthen and not repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Doctors Petition Congress to Keep Health Care Law
January 6, 2011
Thousands of physicians and future doctors across the country have delivered their signatures to Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Oh.) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) to petition the Republicans to keep the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in place.
Doctors urge GOP to improve law, not repeal, reform law
January 6, 2011
A pro-reform physician group is asking leading House Republicans to strengthen – and not repeal – last year’s healthcare overhaul.
Doctors Fight Back Against Proposed Health Care Repeal
January 4, 2011
Doctors for America, a non-profit group that advocates for affordable, quality health care, is getting signatures from doctors and medical students who don't want to see the House try to repeal health reform.
Health care Georgians deserve
December 30, 2010
By Gayathri Suresh Kumar
As a physician who works at Grady Memorial Hospital, I am regularly reminded of the implications of poor access to health care. One of my regular patients had been suffering from diabetes and hypertension for five years. She was a single, dedicated mother who had been working long hours at a local grocery store to provide for her 15-year-old daughter.
In Wisconsin, Political Battle Brewing Over Shaping Health Reform Law
December 27, 2010
Dr. Ian Gilson: We got these people, for the most part, straightened out. We got proper lab testing. We got them on the proper medications. Their diabetes improved. Their blood pressure came down. In some respects, they're actually feeling better. But we also knew that, as we were doing this, we were preventing disasters down the road.
Virginia court strikes down health care law; Loudoun lawmakers react
December 13, 2010
Dr. Chris Lillis, a Fredericksburg physician and member of the Virginia Organizing Health Care Reform Committee – which supports the health law – said, “Judge Hudson’s decision is disappointing, and is clearly outside of the legal opinions of several other courts who have recently rejected lawsuits brought against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”
Medical Students Respond to Senators' Letter on Health Care Reform
December 10, 2010
By Meghana Desale, medical student, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Carol Duh, medical student, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine; Elizabeth Wiley, medical student, George Washington University School of Medicine
During this time of unprecedented health reform, we look forward to the future. As advocates for our patients, we have a professional and moral obligation to ensure access to care. We respectfully disagree with the Senators and support implementation of critical provisions of the Affordable Care Act.
Debate on Health Reform Law Heats Up
November 19, 2010
Recently, members of the Pinellas County Medical Association gathered to watch two doctors debate the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. And when health care professionals come together to talk health care reform, you can count on emotions running high.
Dr. David McKalip and Dr. Mona Mangat went head-to-head for nearly two hours. McKalip, a neurosurgeon, calls for its repeal. Mangat, a physician specializing in allergies and asthma, supports it and sees it as a first step in reform.
Health-care reform put under the microscope
October 28, 2010
Dr. Chris Lillis, a Fredericksburg family practice physician, stood before a small audience and reviewed the mechanics and effects of what is officially known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Let's Concentrate More on Medicine Than Politics
October 17, 2010
Implementing the Patient Protections and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) will be a monumental task and there are plenty of legitimate landmines planted by the legislation that we will have to wok hard to avoid. One of the things we should not be wasting any time and energy on, however, is whether the individual mandate is unconstitutional.
Milestones in Health Care
September 28, 2010
Dr. Alice Chen welcomes key provisions of the new health care law now taking effect.
This is an important month for children with medical problems and recent college graduates. It's also a milestone for the nearly one out of three Americans who have -- whether they know it or not -- limits on how much their health insurance will pay.
Docs ask Idaho to withdraw from health care suit
September 24, 2010
Some Idaho doctors want the state attorney general to pull out of a federal lawsuit that they say wastes taxpayer money and bars Idahoans from the care they need.
Idaho doctors criticize AG's health care lawsuit
September 23, 2010
BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Nine Idaho doctors have written the state's attorney general a letter criticizing him for a lawsuit against the new federal health care law.
FL doctors tell Attorney General Bill McCollum that the lawsuit puts politics before patients
September 22, 2010
WASHINGTON, DC - Yesterday, Florida Doctors for America members released a letter expressing outrage at Attorney General Bill McCollum for joining a 20 state lawsuit to block implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Forty-seven physicians and medical students in Florida signed a letter stating the lawsuit will harm their patients by delaying Medicaid funding and slowing the implementation of the PPACA in their state. Read more: South Florida Business Journal
Ga. Doctors Issues Statement to Gov. Perdue
September 22, 2010
Georgia Doctors for America members released a letter this week expressing outrage at Governor Perdue for joining a 20 state lawsuit to block implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). More that 100 physicians and medical students in Georgia signed a letter stating the lawsuit will harm their patients by delaying Medicaid funding and slowing the implementation of the PPACA in their state.
Idaho doctors criticize state health care reform lawsuit
September 22, 2010
A handful of Idaho doctors have criticized Lawrence Wasden, state attorney general, for pursuing a lawsuit against federal health care reform.
Doctors group blasts S.D. attorney general over health reform challenge
September 22, 2010
South Dakota Doctors for America chastised Attorney General Marty Jackley this week for joining in the multi-state lawsuit to block implementation of the new healthcare reform law.
Doctors Blast Mississippi Governor's Stance On Health Care
September 22, 2010
Mississippi Doctors for America members released a letter saying theyâ€™re outraged at Governor Barbour for joining 20 states that filed a lawsuit to block implementation of the healthcare act.
Doctor Group Blasts McCollum
September 21, 2010
A nonprofit organization of doctors and medical students is blasting Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum for taking part in a lawsuit targeting the health care reform act. Read more: South Florida Business Journal
Doctors Oppose Barbour's Health-Care Lawsuit
September 21, 2010
The health-care reform advocacy group Doctors for America is speaking out against Gov. Haley Barbour for joining a 20-state lawsuit against the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act.
Colorado Doctors Tell Attorney General Suthers That The Lawsuit Puts Politics before Patients
September 21, 2010
Today, Colorado Doctors for America members released a letter expressing outrage at Attorney General Suthers for joining a 20 state lawsuit to block implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).
New Day in Health Care
June 22, 2010
Polls show that most Californians support the new health reform law even though they're not sure they understand it. Dr. Alice Chen discusses some of the law's most tangible provisions that will soon be implemented.
Health Reform Law Remains a Hot Topic in Florida
April 13, 2010
PBS Newshour talks to Floridians, including Doctors for America's Dr. Mona Mangat, about their perspectives on the new health reform law.
Doctors for America: key group in driving health care reform
April 5, 2010
Behind the public dramas played out on the floors of the House of Representatives and the Senate during the final votes for President Barack Obama's health care reform legislation lie a raft of other stories, equally dramatic and heartfelt, about the behind-the-scenes players who helped bring this landmark bill into reality. Key among these are doctors' groups and medical organisations.
Underinsured and fighting for life in a broken system
March 21, 2010
Just 21 months into my mother's cancer treatment, she had reached her medical insurance policy's cap for chemotherapy -- $100,000. As if dealing with cancer were not enough, she now had to deal with the reality that our health care system had left her financially exposed. Lost in our daily debates on health care reform is the devastating impact our current system has on people like my mom. She, like 25 million others, was underinsured. They, along with the 46 million uninsured, are forced into a high-stakes game with their lives. Many of these people have jobs yet are left out of our system. Along with other disparities in health care, our employer-based system also discriminates. Where you work matters greatly.
A doctor's view: We can't afford further delay on health care reform
March 18, 2010
Sometime in the next two weeks, a promising step forward in improving the U.S. health care system is set to take place. After much delay and debate, a final vote to reconcile the Senate and House health reform bills will decide whether our nation starts down a path toward more fair and affordable medical care. The need is urgent and must not be delayed by further political bickering. As it stands now, the reconciliation bill is imperfect and could be improved by providing universal access to care, but in the rancorous atmosphere of Washington, D.C., such a bill would stand little chance of passage.
Utah doctors urging Matheson to vote 'yes' on health care reform
March 17, 2010
SALT LAKE CITY -- Suspense is building across the country as a showdown looms in Washington over health care reform. Pressure is also building on Utah's lone Democrat in Congress to make up his mind. The calls and e-mails are coming in hot and heavy, many wondering why Rep. Jim Matheson is still on the fence. "Our current health care system is broken," said Dr. Scott Poppen, an internal medicine specialist.
Virginia Primary Care Physician Speaks Out For Health Care Reform
March 17, 2010
The following is a guest diary from Christopher Lillis, MD (Internal Medicine) of Fredericksburg, Virginia. Last week, Dr. Lillis - a champion of health care reform - was onstage with President Obama in the East Room. Now, in the closing days of the battle we've seen waged over the past year, Dr. Lillis has some thoughts he wanted to share with us. Thanks to him for doing so, and keep up the good fight! I am thrilled to be a guest blogger here at Blue Virginia (even more thrilled to be one of the millions who helped turn Virginia Blue)! I love my day job - as a primary care physician, I share in the lives of my patients, and derive great satisfaction in helping improve their lives and health.
Dr. Christopher Lillis was at President Obama's side during a White House ceremony yesterday
March 4, 2010
Dr. Christopher Lillis stood with President Obama on the podium in the East Room of the White House yesterday. Lillis, a local internist, describes himself as an "enthusiastic supporter" of the president and anxious to see his health care reforms enacted.
Rallying for universal health care
February 20, 2010
NECN: Alysha Palumbo, Boston, Mass. - "What do we want? Health care! When do we want it? Now!" was the chant at a Boston rally on Saturday. Local union members and public interest groups put the push back on for universal health care, rallying in Boston Saturday. They say as lawmakers in Washington continue posturing on the political implications of passing such a bill, real people continue to struggle. Alex Brown, the Vice President of IUE-CWA Local 201 said, "We have sacrificed wages, we have gone on strike, we constantly hear from our employers that they want to shift costs, co-pays, deductibles, premiums on us, health care is too expensive." The bills that passed in the House and Senate have seemed to stall as Senator Scott Brown's win reverberated through Capitol Hill. But some here in Massachusetts say that doesn't spell the end to a national health care plan.
For Republicans, health reform is 'just beginning'
January 22, 2010
Yesterday morning, Mr. Murphy convened a meeting of the GOP Doctors Caucus to hear a variety of perspectives on health reform. The public hearing was initially intended to chide Democratic leaders for merging the health reform bills passed by the House and Senate in private. . Dr. Christopher Hughes, co-director of critical care services at St. Clair Hospital in Upper St. Clair and Pennsylvania director of Doctors for America, voiced support for the health bills passed by both chambers. "So much work has been done, it seems silly to throw it all away," he said after the hearing, blaming feckless Democrats for not completing the process.
Dozens take part in forum on health care
January 4, 2010
WYE MILLS More than 30 people participated in a health care forum at Chesapeake College on Dec. 15 organized by Doctors for America, a national group working to get citizens more involved in improving America's health care system.
Md. doctors push opposing views on health care bill
December 23, 2009
Dr. Zaneb Beams is doing everything she can to get Congress to approve health care legislation. Dr. F. Michael Gloth III is trying just as hard to kill it. "Lobbyist" is not a title these Baltimore-area doctors would give themselves, but Gloth and Beams are advocates in the biggest lobbying fight of the decade: the overhaul of America's health care system.
Listening to real-life tales of woe: Local patients, health professionals speak
December 19, 2009
Rosemary Marsh tried to tell her story without crying, but in the end broke down. Marsh said she had health insurance until three years ago when her husband had a stroke "and we lost everything. If it wasn't for the Fair Haven Community Health Care Center we wouldn't have health care at all. He is doing better, but every day is a struggle," she said between tears.
Dayton DFA Rallies for Reform at Conservative Forum
November 12, 2009
DAYTON-Health care reform took center stage Wednesday night. The issue sparked both a rally in the streets and a debate at the Dayton Convention Center. armed with picket signs "Doctors for America" marched to East 5th Street where an organization called "Take It Back" was holding a forum.
Video of Dayton Docs Speaking Out Against Anti Reformers
November 12, 2009
Over 60 people join Dayton Doctors for America to show support for real health reform this year.
Myrtle Beach senior citizens discuss healthcare
November 12, 2009
Senior citizens of Horry County met at the HTC Town Center in Carolina Forest this Thursday night to discuss healthcare. Representatives of organizations such as Doctors for America, the Coastal Conservation League and the Silver Haired Legislature served as panel members at the Alliance for Retired Americans Health Care Forum. Organizers say the panelists gave information to seniors on National Health Care Reform in a non-political way. The panelists then opened the floor to the audience to answer questions about healthcare reform and health risks specific to South Carolina.
Why I Went to Washington: The Importance of Physician Voices in the Health Care Reform Debate
November 12, 2009
In October, I was lucky enough to be one of about 150 physicians present as President Barack Obama addressed health care reform in the rose garden of the White House. As Minnesota's state director for Doctors for America, a grass roots organization with more than 15,000 physician members throughout the United States, I've been actively pushing for reforms that would make health care coverage more affordable, expand access to care, improve the quality of care, and support practice environments that allow physicians to focus on patient care rather than administration and paperwork. I was invited to the event by the White House because the voices of physicians are being heard in Washington. Our organization, along with a number of other physician groups, hasn't been shy about making our preferences known when it comes to health care reform.
Kirkpatrick mum on health care vote
November 6, 2009
Friday, November 06, 2009 Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick still has not stated how she plans to vote on the health care bill (H.R. 3962) that could come to a House floor vote as early as this weekend. "We need a uniquely American health care plan, so we need input from the American people," Kirkpatrick said during a Nov. 3 telephonic town hall. She gathered comments from citizens at a tele-town hall in October and meetings around her district, although she never conducted any meetings in the Prescott region as she earlier said she wanted to do.
Fixing healthcare: Primary care is job No. 1
November 5, 2009
The Senate and House are inching closer to extending health insurance to millions of Americans. Access to insurance, however, does not necessarily mean access to healthcare. What is also needed is a sufficient supply of primary-care doctors. As an internal-medicine physician who works in multiple clinical settings, I repeatedly witness the consequences of patients not having that access. When I was working in an emergency room a few months ago, for example, a middle-aged man with hypertension came in with a paralyzing stroke. Regular monitoring and treatment of his high blood pressure could have prevented this debilitating event. But he did not have a primary-care doctor. The next week, I had to tell a patient he had colon cancer. He had felt fine but came to our hospital after noticing blood in his stool. It was too late. His cancer had spread. A small-business owner facing advanced pancreatic cancer, a young woman succumbing to cervical cancer, a father suffering from liver disease -- these are people I have come across who had previous encounters with the healthcare system, whether an ER visit or a surgical procedure. Some even had insurance. What each lacked was regular, uninterrupted access to a primary-care doctor.
Public option: a civil rights struggle
November 4, 2009
WASHINGTON - The Rev. Walter Fauntroy remembers well the successes of the Civil Rights Movement. And he wants to see them replicated in the final push for a robust government-sponsored option to be included in the health insurance reform legislation that is even now being wrangled over in Congress.
Why I went to D.C. to support health reform
November 1, 2009
About 150 doctors from all 50 states went to Washington, D.C., on Oct. 5 and were addressed by President Obama in the Rose Garden. Maybe you saw it and wondered who went to represent Kansas. Well, that was me. I went as a member of the group Doctors for America.
Provo doctor says health reform imperative by Dr. Dan Thomas
October 29, 2009
I am an anesthesiologist with sixteen years' experience. I am writing to highlight the urgent need for comprehensive health care reform and encourage support in passing legislation this year. As a graduate of the military medical school, USUHS, I served fourteen years in the Air Force as a flight surgeon and as an anesthesiologist. While most of my tours were stateside, I spent five wonderful years in England. I left the Air Force five years ago and started an anesthesia group servicing a same-day surgical center in my hometown. During my relatively short career, I have seen a wide variety of health care delivery systems, both as a provider and as a consumer. These include private insurance, government operated (military), government financed (CHAMPUS) and socialized medicine (British).
Markey defends health care reform at Natick meeting
October 20, 2009
A health care reform town hall meeting sponsored last night by U.S. Rep. Edward Markey drew local residents and those from as far away as Woburn and Quincy who had questions on insurance costs, prescription drug loopholes and the public option. With the health care debate heating up as lawmakers in the coming weeks will be considering reform legislation, about 75 people attended the session at Wilson Middle School where Markey was joined by Sen. Karen Spilka, D-Ashland, Rep. David Linsky, D-Natick, Dr. Nikhil Wagle, co-founder of Doctors for America and Deborah Banda, state director of the AARP.
It's time for doctors to speak out by Dr. Nick Perencevich
October 14, 2009
I was fortunate to attend President Obama's recent White House meeting with practicing doctors from all 50 states. My attendance was more a lucky coincidence than due to any merit on my part. The group of physicians that I joined, and that subsequently got the White House invitation, is called "Doctors for America" and they were "Doctors for Obama" before the election. They have always supported the president's reform plans as those plans evolved. Their core goals are to expand access to care, make it affordable via insurance (including a public option), to improve the quality of care (our job as doctors), and to improve the practice environment for doctors and their patients and the next generation of health care providers.
What really happened in the Rose Garden: Doctors organize to promote the nation's health
October 11, 2009
As a pediatrician from a small private practice, I was privileged to be in the Rose Garden at the White House last Monday, representing the state of Ohio. The response to that gathering of doctors from all 50 states has revealed an attempt by a few to hide what many know: We are part of an extraordinary moment in America.
I am no prop; doctors are on the frontlines in the healthcare debate by Dr. Stephen Patrick
October 11, 2009
This past Monday, I had the pleasure of being invited to the White House to talk about health reform. While shaking hands with the president in the Rose Garden is an honor, I did not come for him - I came for my patients. Too often I have seen care delayed or missed because of the obstacles parents face in our current system. We cannot wait any longer for health reform, it is needed this year.
Myrtle Beach doctor attends Obama forum
October 5, 2009
A Myrtle Beach physician will be among a group of doctors from across the nation who will gather at the White House in Washington, D.C., today for a forum designed to press for health care reforms. Dr. Tracy Nelson, a specialist in obstetrics and gynecology with Magnolia OB/GYN, learned late last week that she had been selected as a participant. She said she's excited about the opportunity because she is convinced the nation's health care system is broken and needs to be reformed.
Grady doctor meets with Obama
October 5, 2009
As a doctor and teacher at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Jason Schneider spends much of his time these days talking about the need for change in the health care system. Today will be no different except for the fact that Schneider will be talking about it to President Barack Obama.
Health care reform heading to vote
October 5, 2009
As Congress nears a showdown this month over a key proposal to overhaul the country's health care system, Gov. Jon S. Corzine and 21 other Democratic governors are pressing lawmakers to pass reform legislation quickly. A Cherry Hill doctor who's scheduled to meet today with President Barack Obama to discuss health care also urged creation of a public option, a provision that stirred controversy in recent town hall meetings in New Jersey.
Fayette doctor to pitch health care reform at White House
October 4, 2009
Fayette family practice physician will be one of about 60 doctors appearing tomorrow at the White House to advocate for health care reform. Hope Tinker said she was invited to participate because of her affiliation with a national advocacy group, Doctors for America.
Missoula doctor to take part in White House reform event
October 3, 2009
Missoula physician Meg Sarnecki, who practices at a clinic that serves mostly low-income patients, won't be at work on Monday. She'll be at the White House instead, meeting with President Barack Obama.
Dr. Chen Goes to Washington
October 2, 2009
KCBS interviews Dr. Alice Chen about why she is taking the fight for health reform to the Rose Garden on October 5th, 2009.
Local doctor to meet with Obama
October 2, 2009
Florida Doctors for America activist Dr. Mona Mangan explains why she is going to Washington to fight for health reform on October 5th, 2009.
UAB Doctor to Meet with Obama
October 2, 2009
Dr. Sonia Vishin is noted as one of the physicians traveling to Washington to be a part of a Rose Garden health reform event on October 5th.
Make Health System Work for Us
September 23, 2009
By Dr. Elaine Bradshaw Please, fellow New Mexicans, let's discuss health care reform in real terms. Here's where I come from: I am a pediatrician, mother, wife and not a member of a political party - too much money and lobbyist influence for me. I know and honestly, don't you know that our health care system can serve us better than it now does? This is not the time for divisive politics. Many of us like our health care providers and our access to the U.S.'s terrific subspecialty care. But meanwhile, are we using our national resources as wisely as possible for our health? Why does our health care cost us so much, and leave so many of us out? Why do we pay twice what some countries pay, without better results?
For those who prefer words to numbers, here's a friend's story:
My husband was diagnosed with an acute idiopathic illness in his late 20s that put him in the hospital every 4-6 months for 10 days at a time over five years. It then turned into chronic illness, and he has been dealing with many complex medical conditions for over 17 years. During the 5 years of hospital visits, he worked for a small business which put him on the state's catastrophic health program. While this was a good plan, we still had a lot of out-of-pocket expenses that almost put us into bankruptcy. He later chose to be a teacher not only for passion, but also for the good health care benefits, definitely not for the salary.
Tea party folks I don't enjoy paying taxes, and I really dislike budget deficits, which will grow enormously and drive up our taxes if we leave our health care system as is.� Just remember that the real question is not whether we will pay taxes, but the amount and how well we use them. This is, after all, taxation with representation, unlike the British taxation that led to the historic Boston Tea Party. Also, when thinking about reform, please consider the disadvantage our innovative citizens and companies face compared to those in countries with better-organized health care. Can we stop draining their resources with inefficiency? Can we improve the system so I can focus more on your child's health and less on bureaucracy?
Faults and all, in my family's budget, I'll still spend money on health before many other things. I'm thankful for the time I had with my mother in hospice, without worry about bills Medicare. My entire family benefited from breast-feeding help for my daughter private insurance. My aging father is independent despite breaking his ankle, thanks to physical therapy Medicare and private insurance. Please think, listen to your hearts, forget partisanship, call your representatives with your ideas, and keep in mind the health of your family and community. We have a historic chance to make our health care system work better for us!
Bradshaw lives in Santa Fe.
[Elaine Bradshaw is one of the Doctors for America regional directors!]
As hope for a public option fades, doctors pick up banner for government-run health insurance for all
September 21, 2009
Also last week, Doctors for America's Ohio activists drew 200 people at a health care reform forum at Centerville High School near Dayton, according to the Dayton Daily News. Doctors for America bills itself as a grassroots group of more than 14,000 doctors in all 50 states who are 'committed to passing meaningful health care reform.'� Doctors for America supports a public option, though not one that excludes private insurers.
ABC Dayton Clip
September 15, 2009
Doctors For America say they back president Obama's health care bill because to them it makes sense. They plan to keep holding open forums in hopes that legislation will pass in January
Oklahoma City rallies air opposing views
September 14, 2009
Dr. Boyd Shook, who has been in the medical field for 54 years and is the founder of an Oklahoma City free medical clinic, said the public option would not increase health care costs.
Broken healthcare and broken lives by Alex Blum
September 13, 2009
A 12-year-old boy suffering from a stroke makes a compelling case for change, says one pediatrician. Alex Blum trained in pediatric medicine at Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA. He is now an Evidence and Health Policy Fellow at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He sits on the board of directors of the National Physicians Alliance and is the national field director for Doctors for America.
Health Care Reform: A Tale of Two Cities
September 12, 2009
"We want to care for patients. We don't want to deal with insurance companies. The system is hadicapping us," said Nathan C. Bahr, a physician who is state director of Doctors for America, a group of medical professionals that advocates for health care reform. "The system is at the breaking point." You must not have a heart if you are not torn up by it."
Letters: Obama's speech reviewed
September 12, 2009
Letters: Obama's speech reviewed
Medicare best for patients by Dr. Robert Golden
September 12, 2009
In recent health care debates people proclaim they don't want the government standing between them and their physician. Some have adamantly opposed a 'single-payer' health plan while demanding, Don't touch my Medicare.� As a physician practicing in Spokane for the past 26 years, I would like to share my experiences.
Health-care providers in trenches want reform now
September 11, 2009
An internal poll of Doctors for America, a grassroots organization of more than 14,000 physicians and medical students from around the country, found that over 90 percent of members support reform now and more than 95 percent support the public option.
Obama's speech gets healthy response
September 10, 2009
"It's one of the president's best speeches since he's been in public life," said Dr. Daniel Fass, director of the Institute for Image-Guided Radio Therapy in Rye and a member of Doctors for America, which among other issues advocates for affordable health coverage.
Our Town Hall Adventure
September 9, 2009
Or, as Dr. Bradley Rosen representing Doctors for America later said, "I don't have anything against the insurance companies or the people who work for them, because they're hard-working Americans just like you and I. The difference is that they're functioning in a free market capitalist society and the interest of the healthcare industry, just like for any business, is to make money. The perverse aspect is that we shouldn't be profiting off withholding care.
Obama's speech, news clip
September 9, 2009
All eyes were on President Obama as he gave his much anticipated health care address to Congress. Around the Miami Valley both supporters and those against the Presidents plan watched to see what he had to offer.
Obama's Health Care Plan Discussed In Dallas
September 9, 2009
Three Dallasites with three different viewpoints gathered at the CBS 11 studios.
A doctor considers reform by Dr. Jessica Saxe
September 9, 2009
I am a patriotic American. I believe in American ingenuity. My belief that we can accomplish anything we set our minds to is one reason I am so distressed about the health reform debate. Even more distressing is the fear and despair of the people who lack insurance and needed care.
Time To Face The Facts U.S. Health Care System Is Terminally Ill by Nathan Boddie
September 9, 2009
Opinion and conjecture abound on the prospect of changing how to pay for medical care in Oregon and across the U.S. Honest concern about fundamental changes to medical care in our country is understandable. After all, even small missteps in regulation or funding of such a massive a system projected to rise to nearly a quarter of the U.S. economy could lead to collapse, leaving even more people unable to access care and devastating other parts of the economy. Sadly, much of the discourse has had an angry, fearful tone. Many citizens with justifiable concerns are being used unfairly by special interests that have an agenda reaching no farther than the next election cycle. But hyperbole and intolerance have no meaningful place in this debate.
A doctor's view on health care reform
September 9, 2009
As Congress returns to its effort to enact health care reform legislation, its members need to understand and explain to the American people some of the most difficult aspects of this complex issue. Here, from a physician's point of view, are some of those key points.
Rally demands a sweeping change in health system
September 8, 2009
More than 1,000 advocates for a new national health care system rallied on Boston Common yesterday, shouting slogans and holding aloft banners demanding "reform now" in a show of force supporting President Obama's push to overhaul health care. Other groups at the rally included Doctors for America, Service Employees International Union, and the group Health Care for America Now.
Health reform the people want by Dr. Zaneb K. Beams
September 8, 2009
On Tuesday, September 1, I participated in House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer's town hall meeting on health care as a panelist. Despite some audience disruption the discussion was productive and comments and questions favored some type of health care reform two to one
Oklahoma supporters rally for health reform
September 4, 2009
Health care reform supporters rallied downtown Thursday afternoon in an effort to draw attention to what they called a growing rift between defense and medical spending.
What's really in health reform bills. POINT OF VIEW Health care debate by Katherine Scheirman, M.D.
September 4, 2009
Scheirman, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel, is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine and is Co-Region 7 director of Doctors for America
Doctors for Public Option Health Care Reform
September 4, 2009
When Doctors want and support a public option, I think we'd be stupid not to listen... An interview with Erik Paschall
Healthcare debate hits the streets
September 4, 2009
Angry but energetic, frustrated but fired up, a group of nearly 60 protesters gathered Wednesday night at the Bayview Park-and-Ride to shout out for healthcare reform
Physician: Town Hall ignorance stifles respectful debate
August 31, 2009
Dr. Javeed Sukhera, M.D., is Western/Upstate New York's Regional Director, Doctors for America. Check out his article here.
Time to move past scare tactics by Dr. Daniel Fass
August 29, 2009
As the debate about health-care reform continues, gross misrepresentations of fact have supplanted intelligent discourse on the merits of the legislation working its way through Congress. The most egregious of these distortions is the concept of government run "death panels" - government entities that would determine who receives life-prolonging treatment and who would be left to die, or, worse, put to death. While it is easy to dismiss former Gov. Sarah Palin's rants against the "death panels" as the ramblings of an embarrassment to the electoral process, other notable figures have weighed in with similar missives.
Ventura County StarNews
August 23, 2009
Please. Enough of the hysteria on both sides of the healthcare-reform debate. The images of citizens yelling accusations at timid legislators at town halls make great video for the mass media, but do nothing to advance the conversation of the most important domestic crisis of the last half century. And, yes, how this is resolved may even trump our economic issues since they are inextricably intertwined. So, let's take a deep, collective breath and look at what's happening in what appears to be healthcare chaos. First, there is no Obama healthcare plan. There are Obama healthcare principles. What people are yelling about are congressional proposals that have come from two House committees and one Senate committee, Sen. Ted Kennedy's Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. The hard-core proposal that has the highest probability of being a bipartisan plan has yet to be released from the Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Sen. Max Baucus.
Oklahoma Democrats push for state healthcare reform
August 21, 2009
Top quality hospitals, doctors and health professionals already exist in Oklahoma, but the goal of legislation is to make that care available to everyone, said Katherine Scheirman, American College of Physicians fellow and regional director of Doctors for America. She said 20 percent of Oklahoma's 5th District citizens are without health coverage.
Tea Party panelist: Dump employer-funded health care
August 18, 2009
A Dayton Tea Party panelist thinks employer-funded health care should be dumped in favor of individual ownership of health insurance.
Such health plans should be tax-deductible and have high deductibles, with tax incentives to discourage overspending, said Dr. David Westbrock, who practices in Centerville.
Health Care Debate Heats Up Near Dayton
August 18, 2009
Many of those protesting outside were associated with Doctors for America, a group that supports passing legislation for quality healthcare for everyone.
Los Angeles City Council Passes Resolution Calling Congress to Enact Health Care Reform!
August 18, 2009
Dr. Rab Razzak speaks to Los Angeles City Council , which subsequently passes pro-health reform resolution
Los Angeles Hospitalist and ACP Member Participates in California Healthcare Forum
August 16, 2009
Alice Chen, a hospitalist at UCLA and associate ACP member and Director of "Doctors for America," presented a brief talk at the California Healthcare Forum on April 6, 2009. The Webcast of that forum is archived on Governor Schwarzenegger's Web page at http://gov.ca.gov/index.php?/press-release/11939/. Doctors for America has been working closely with the Obama administration on a 100-day plan to support healthcare reform this year and earlier this year, the organization sent a letter to Congress signed by 2,000 physicians and medical students requesting that Congress to keep the "healthcare reserve" in the federal budget.
[VIDEO]: Organizing for America at Senator Feinstein's Office Santa Monica, CA
August 14, 2009
Organizing for America at Senator Feinstein's Office Santa Monica, CA
34th District Democrats talk health care, endorse Yes on 71
August 13, 2009
McDermott's appearance was arranged and introduced by Dr. Lisa Plymate of the 34th DDs, who is active with the reform-advocacy group Doctors For America
Who's Holding Doctors Back
August 6, 2009
HR 3200, the America's Affordable Health Choices Act, has been officially endorsed by the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American College of Physicians, the American College of Surgeons, the American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association, the American Osteopathic Association, the American Psychiatric Association, Doctors for America, the National Medical Association, and the National Physicians Alliance.
Interviews with KDKA and PCNC for Doctors for America
August 5, 2009
I had a couple of interviews with conservative talk hosts here in Pittsburgh Monday night on the Pittsburgh Cable News Channel with Kevin Miller and Tuesday morning on KDKA radio with Mike Pintek as representative for Doctors for America on health care reform. I thought I'd share, and perhaps get a little constructive input.
7 medical groups unite to push for action on health-care reform
August 3, 2009
Other medical organizations backing reform are the American College of Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Student Association, American Osteopathic Association, Doctors for America and National Physicians Alliance.
For health care, lift Social Security tax cap
August 3, 2009
There are numerous physician organizations and specialty societies, including Doctors for America, that are all working together for health care reform that addresses affordability, accessibility, cost and quality.
Unraveling red tape in U.S. health care system
August 3, 2009
Dr. Katherine Scheirman is the Oklahoma director of Doctors for America, a group working to convey the ideas and experiences of physicians to achieve health care reform based on four key ideas: affordable coverage, expanded access to care, high quality care and practice environments that allow physicians to focus on patient care
[VIDEO]: Florida MD Says Docs Want Health Reform
August 1, 2009
Dr. George Bahadue for Doctors for America. Check out the clip.
[VIDEO]: Doctors for America on the the Ed show, MSNBC.
August 1, 2009
Doctors for America on the the Ed show, MSNBC.
Harry Reid: Don't Cry Great Big Tears About the Insurance Industry
July 30, 2009
Reid was joined by representatives from the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Physicians, the American Osteopathic Association, the American Medical Student Association, Doctors for America, and the National Physicians Alliance.
Health Care RX: Reining In Costs Requires a Paradigm ShiJuly 24, 2009
The promise of health reform - providing the best possible care to all Americans - cannot be achieved without reining in cost. But to do so will require a fundamental restructuring of our health care system. We need a paradigm shift.
Boehner Claims He Doesn't Know Doctors Who Support House Health Bill
July 24, 2009
If Boehner hasn't talk[ed] to a doctor who is supporting the plan that is moving through the House, then he isn't getting out much. In fact, the grassroots doctors organization Doctors For America has 360 members in Boehner's home-state of Ohio, and 13,642 doctors nationwide who support the major tenets of the House bill.
Doctors Make House Calls for Health Care Reform
July 23, 2009
Dr. Javeed Sukahera said, "The cost of inaction is far greater. We're already spending so much more than any other country. We can't afford for health care to stay on this trajectory." Sukahera says he favors preserving patient choice.
Georgia's docs in Congress influence health care debate
July 21, 2009
The powerful American Medical Association has come out in support of the House Democrats' plan, as has Doctors for America, a group of more than 13,000 physicians.
Harry and Louise Return, With a New Message
July 16, 2009
Now, the same actors are back in a new campaign, this time to support a government overhaul of the medical system promoted by a Democratic president, Barack Obama. Dcotors for America was invited to be part of this exclusive press conference.
Read more: A face of the uninsured, a state of denial
July 15, 2009
According to Doctors for America (DFA), a reform group, inflation in the health care sector has outpaced the growth in national income by an average of 2.5 percent a year since 1970. The result: a grotesque system that richly rewards its top brass while providing excellent care only to those who can afford to pay or whose companies will pay as a tax-free form of compensation for increasingly exorbitant insurance plans.
Call For Health Reform: In X-Ray Form
July 8, 2009
Doctors for America hand out x-rays and letters to Senators, to give an inside view of the healthcare system. The diagnosis is clear:our healthcare system is broken. Please help us and our patients by passing health reform this year.
LA Times Op-Ed: Getting a second opinion on healthcare reform: There are voices besides the AMA
June 30, 2009
By Rahul Rajkumar and Harold Pollack (Doctors for America)
The group with which we are affiliated, Doctors for America, along with others, is working to support healthcare reform that works. We support the need for reform that eliminates unnecessary testing and rewards high-quality care. Doctors for America and other organizations are trying to educate their thousands of physician-members and urge them to engage in the political debate.
From their vantage point on the front lines of American medical care, doctors see firsthand the need for reform. They see patients facing financial hardship because of medical bills. They see others who forgo needed treatments they can't afford. Doctors work within a fragmented system that makes it increasingly hard to provide the high-quality, attentive and compassionate care they were trained to give. They see their profession facing increasing public skepticism, fueled by accounts of wasteful practice patterns and by their profession's frequent and frank stance as a special-interest group.
Of course lawmakers should consult the AMA. But they should stop putting the group on a pedestal above other doctor organizations. Perhaps if politicians did so, the AMA might make greater efforts to move beyond its narrow stance as a special-interest group.
Doctors are right to worry about the economic impact that reform will have on their profession. They have every right to lobby lawmakers in the same spirit Archer Daniels Midland lobbies on ethanol. Some such lobbying is natural and justified. Over the years, though, the AMA has sometimes forgotten that other values matter too. As thousands of doctors are starting to realize, that's a poor long-term strategy for a great profession that so greatly benefits from the public's trust.
Donations Aren't the Real Solution
June 26, 2009
Washington Post, by Vivek Murthy (Doctors for America)
Where we put our money is the most clear indication of what we value. If we pay for procedures, tests, and patient visits (as we do in our current system), then we will get more procedures, tests, and patient visits. This does not always mean better, higher-quality health care – it just means more health care. The only thing more health care guarantees is higher cost. Furthermore, as any patient or physician can attest, more health care comes with its own risk of complications.
What we really need to do is pay for what we value: good outcomes and patient satisfaction. If we do this, there's reason to believe we will generate better outcomes and satisfaction.
Figuring out how to design and implement a system that reward quality over quantity is a monumental challenge. It will require restructuring primary care, implementing payment reform, enhancing prevention and wellness programs and integrating non-physician care providers more effectively just to name a few essential components. But the rewards will be tremendous -- higher-quality health care at lower cost. Lower cost results in part from earlier detection and treatment, greater efficiency in the delivery system, and decreased utilization of services that don't improve the quality of care.
Before we can do any of this, we must summon the political will to pass a comprehensive health reform bill. Many stakeholders are wary of reform and of what they may lose in a restructured health-care system. But the most important stakeholders of all – patients – are struggling under the yoke of high costs, poor access and undependable quality. We owe it to them to begin this reform process with a strong health reform bill in 2009.
White House Health Reform Stakeholder meeting
June 19, 2009 — White House Blog
4:05: Dr. Alice Chen, Executive Director of Doctors for America, is reading from a sizable binder full of comments sent to her from physicians across the country. One physician told her, 'the best prevention is providing people with health insurance.'"
3:41: Dr. Vivek Murthy, President and Co-founder of Doctors for America, is urging that medical education be changed so that medical students are trained in prevention. During his time in medical school, he says he spent six weeks on cell biology, but the only training offered for preventative care came in the form of an evening, optional, elective which he says was sparsely attended. 'That culture has to change,' he said."
Who Speaks for Doctors?
June 19, 2009 — Washington Post, by Vivek Murthy (Doctors for America)
Increasing numbers of physicians do not see the AMA as their representatives. Less than 20 percent of physicians are AMA members and most of these physicians are not politically engaged. Furthermore, many physicians feel the organization has focused narrowly on representing physicians' pocketbook interests while doing little to advance the patient-centered ideals that continue to drive many physicians.
If the AMA doesn't adequately represent physicians, then to whom should legislators be talking? The answer is they should be speaking directly with physicians in communities who are on the front lines of health care. This requires an investment of time and energy on the part of legislators and their staffs. It also requires physicians to be more politically engaged. The emergence of true grassroots physician groups in recent years is an encouraging sign as these groups represent more direct channels for connecting physicians and legislators. For the sake of real health reform, I hope we see more such dialogue in the future.
[VIDEO]: Paul Begala on Doctors for America
June 15, 2009 — CNN
In response to an assertion that doctors do not want reform: "In the campaign, there was Doctors for Obama just like there were left-handed Scrabble players for Obama. The doctors have morphed into Doctors for America. There's thousands and thousands of doctors in it. I talked to one of the leaders to that group today, and he pointed out to me the American Medical Association does not survey its members. They don't really know what those doctors think. These Doctors of America are surveying docs, and docs have fed up with having to mud wrestle insurance companies just in order to care for patients."
Doctors Consider Health Care Possibilites as White House Pushes Reform
June 15, 2009 — Online News Hour with Jim Lehrer, featuring Dr. Zaneb Beams (Doctors for America)
DR. ZANEB BEAMS: Government by the wrong people can be problematic. Government by the right people can be very well done. . . . And most of us, if you ask, most of us would be willing to make a teeny bit less in order to provide our patients with better care.
NY Times Letter to the Editor
June 14, 2009
To the Editor:
We agree that our nation’s health care system, which rewards physicians for the volume of services and not quality of care, fails to promote best practices for physicians. And while we also agree that to reform the health care system physicians must be brought into the process, we are disappointed by your implication that the American Medical Association speaks for the majority of physicians. It does not.
Less than 20 percent of practicing American physicians are members of the A.M.A., and most members are not engaged in the organization’s political activities. At the same time, there are numerous other physician organizations and specialty societies, including our own, Doctors for America, that support health care reform that will provide access to affordable health care, eliminate unnecessary testing and reward quality care. There are thousands of physicians who do not need to be persuaded by the president — because we already agree with him.
Boston, June 14, 2009
Liberal docs counter the A.M.A
June 11, 2009 — MSNBC
[T]he AMA doesn’t speak for all physicians. Doctors for America . . . joined CAP today in telling reporters it fully supports a public/government option. Dr. Vivek Murthy, president of Doctors for America, said physicians 'see every day examples of how the private-insurance industry is failing our patients.' Murthy did acknowledge the enormous influence of the 250,000-member AMA, but urged Americans to look deeper than the opinions of industry leaders. 'We are a grassroots organization,' Murthy said. 'It's important to see what the physicians on the ground are saying.' . . . When asked about his thoughts on the co-op plan proposed by Sen. Kent Conrad, Murthy said he cared less about what the plan was called and more about how it helped patients. 'If there are options on the table that Congress would like to consider, and they want the input of physicians,' he said, 'we would be willing to provide that input.'"
Renamed organization gathers physicians' voices
May 11, 2009 — American Medical News (AMA)
Doctors for America is asking physicians to share their perspectives on health reform via the organization's Web site (www.drsforamerica.org).
The organization formed a year ago as Doctors for Obama to support the presidential candidate's health reform proposal. Its leaders are calling for measures that bring affordable health insurance to all Americans, ensure quality, expand access to care and foster practice environments that allow physicians to focus on patient care.
Vivek Murthy, MD, Doctors for America president and co-founder, said the group's purpose is not to replace existing physician organizations but to get individual doctors' opinions to a broader audience. 'We don't speak for doctors. They speak for themselves.'
The organization has nearly 11,000 members with a variety of backgrounds and ages from all 50 states, and it receives no external funding, Dr. Murthy said. Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus (D, Mont.) said during a conference call about the organization that he's reaching out to all physicians."
Senate leader optimistic on health reform
May 5, 2009 — Healthcare Finance News
Vivek Murthy, MD, president and co-founder of Doctors for America, with 11,000 members, said physicians are behind healthcare reform and are open to a public plan. "Nothing is off the table in our mind set," Murthy said. "We need to best serve our patients. That is what we are trained to do," Murthy said. Disappointed by how the system prevents doctors from delivering the best care, his organization has launched a campaign to educate lawmakers and work with Congress on health reform. "We look forward to making sure this happens this year," Murthy said.
[Podcast]: Know Five Things
May 5, 2009 — Mic Check Radio
Health care reform got a serious push this week when Sen. Max Baucus (D., MT) joined with the Center for American Progress to announce the creation of 'Doctors For America,' a coalition of more than 11,000 doctors supporting health care reform.
Looking ahead to the approaching health care reform debate in Congress
May 5, 2009 — Green Mountain Daily
Dr. Murthy's organization is a year-old 'grassroots' organization of doctors (by grassroots, I - or rather he - means completely member-funded and member-organized and not supported by an outside interest) which is prepared to be closely involved with the discussions over and promotion of reforms it sees as meaningful. His presence underscored the intention of Baucus, in cooperation with Senator's Kennedy's Health Committee, the House, and the White House, to depend heavily on the support of the medical community to promote their ultimate plan, whatever it may be.
Increasing Losses of Health Coverage May Put Pressure on for Public Insurance
May 5, 2009 — HealthLeaders Media
'Physicians can play a major role in addressing healthcare reform issues such as coverage,' according to Vivek Murthy. MD, president and co-founder of Doctors for America. Murthy, a physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, said at the teleconference that his year-old organization is not advocating a specific healthcare reform plan, 'but we do think that a public plan is worth considering, and nothing should be take off the table at this moment. . . . The key priority in whatever plan [that] is put forth is: does it really improve access for a patient and improve choice for a patient,' he said. His group currently has nearly 12,000 supporters of healthcare reform nationwide.
Baucus: Healthcare reform roundtables are legislation cornerstore
May 5, 2009 — HealthImaging.com
Vivek Murthy, MD also unveiled a national campaign by the grassroots group he leads. The campaign, called Voices of Physicians, is soliciting doctor concerns and priorities for healthcare reform, and putting links to these concerns on an interactive map.
'Doctors for America' Support Expanding Coverage
May 5, 2009 — Blog of Marco A. Garcia
Overall, the number of Americans without insurance has increased 13 percent since 2007, 'the largest two-year leap since the last effort at national health reform in 1994.' States like North Carolina, Indiana, and Nevada experienced some of the highest increases of the uninsured. The growing national crisis has led a diverse group of stakeholders and interest groups to advocate for expanding health insurance coverage to all Americans. Yesterday, John Podesta, President and CEO of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, hosted a teleconference with Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT), and President and Co-founder of Doctors for America Dr. Vivek Murthy to announce new efforts by Doctors for America — a grassroots organization of 11,000 doctors from all 50 states — to amplify physicians' voices in support of health care reform. 'What's a key priority for us is that whatever plan is put forth really does improve access for patients and improve choice for patients,' Murthy said on the call. The group will 'work 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.'
Finance Committee Will Tackle Public Plan Option Tuesday, Baucus Says
May 4, 2009 — Seachange Bulletin
Vivek Murthy, president and co-founder of Doctors for America and another participant in the call, said his grassroots group has some 11,000 physician members in all 50 states whose goals are expanded access, the provision of high-quality care, affordable coverage and practice environments that allow doctors to focus on care. Murthy said the group does not specifically back a public plan, though it wouldn't rule it out.
"Our current system is failing patients and it's not allowing us to provide the kind of care patients deserve," said Murthy, a physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. It's important for Congress to hear about the experiences of physicians, he said. Murthy said the group is self-funded and does not receive money from other organizations.
Doctors' Group Backs Baucus' Health Care Strategy
May 4, 2009 — CBS News
Baucus is not the only one interested in keeping options open. The senator joined the Center for American Progress on Monday to announce the re-formation of Doctors for America, a grassroots organization of over 11,000 doctors in support of health care reform . . . . Doctors for America President and Co-Founder Vivek Murthy said the group supported Baucus' flexible approach. 'We do think a public plan is worth considering,' Murthy said. 'A key priority for us is whatever is put forth does improve access.'
Doctors for America' launches
May 4, 2009 — Politico, Ben Smith
Sen. Max Baucus and the Center for American Progress Action Fund are announcing a new group on a conference call later this morning: Doctors for America, which is a reincarnation of Doctors for Obama, an arm of the Obama campaign that boasted more than 10,000 members. The question of patients' relationships with their doctors is always a flashpoint in debating changes to the health care system, so doctors are often particularly credible messengers.
Baucus touts pro-reform doc's group
May 4, 2009 — Politico, Glenn Thrush
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Center for American Progress founder (and all-around Obama point man) John Podesta are announcing the creation of a new physicians effort that will push the Democrats' health care proposals. The new initiative, an offshoot of the progressive Doctors for America, will 'release new reports detailing the depth and breadth of America's health care crisis and announce a new effort to amplify physicians' voices in support of health care reform, according to a statement from the organization."
[Clarification: the reports are actually being released by the Center for American Progress. Doctors for America (nonpartisan and independent) is the new effort to amplify physicians' voices in support of health reform. –DFA]
Max Baucus gets a kick out of health care reform
May 4, 2009 — MedCity News
Meanwhile, Doctors for America president and co-founder Dr. Vivek Murthy unveiled a national campaign by the grassroots group he leads. The campaign, called Voices of Physicians, is soliciting doctor concerns and priorities for health care reform, and putting links to these concerns on an interactive map.
The campaign aims at informing policy makers and the public about ways the nation’s health care system is failing doctors and their patients, said the Brigham & Women's Hospital doctor during the press teleconference.
Baucus: Public health care plan may not pass without budget reconciliation
May 4, 2009 — Think Progress
A sticking point in talks on health care is President Obama's 'public plan,' which will bring down health care costs and dramatically expand coverage. Republicans already oppose the plan, fearmongering about 'socialism' and government bureaucracy.
Doc-payment fix "hugely expensive," Baucus says
May 4, 2009 — ModernHealthcare.com
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) during a teleconference announcing the group Doctors for America offered few concrete details on fixing Medicare’s physician payment formula or addressing options for public coverage, only that Congress needed to come up with a “uniquely American solution” for health reform.