As we look back at 2011 and look forward to what promises to be a busy and eventful 2012, we wanted to wish everyone a HAPPY NEW YEAR! Below is a note we sent to our 15,000 physician and medical student members last week. Follow the links to get a review of 2011.
Progress Notes will be back with our regular postings after the holiday break!
Dear Doctors for America Members and Supporters:
Four years ago, few people believed this was possible. The idea that 15,000 physicians and medical students would stand together and help drive the largest transformation in health in a generation raised more than a few eyebrows.
But, against so many odds, this is exactly what doctors and medical students have helped build in Doctors for America. In 2010, we came together to help pass an unprecedented health reform law. And that law is now having a tangible impact on millions of people.
2.5 million young adults are no longer uninsured, we've outlawed the worst of insurance company abuses, we're closing the prescription drug "donut hole" for seniors, and we're finally starting to create transformation at the delivery system level through pilot programs, medical malpractice trials, and a new national preventive health strategy. And this is only the beginning.
But one of the most important things to emerge from all of this can't be found in the health reform law. It's in us. It's the fact that doctors have come together as doctors to help ensure that our health care system lives up to our ideals. That's what Doctors for America is all about.
As 2011 draws to a close, we can't help but be proud of some extraordinary things that have been accomplished by physician advocates working together toward a system where everyone has access to affordable, high quality care. Here are some highlights of what Doctors for America members did the last 12 months:
- Protected Medicaid at the federal and state level. From all over the country, we signed petitions and wrote letters to the editor. Grassroots physicians brought together 15 organizations representing 300,000 physicians and medical students to stand up for millions of Medicaid patients. Adding a crucial physician voice to a broad-coalition effort, we won in battle after battle throughout the year!
- Blogged on views from the frontlines in a whopping 200 thoughtful posts in Progress Notes, published articles, spoke to audiences and colleagues, and posted and tweeted news to educate communities everywhere.
- Gathered for a successful first National Leadership Conference. We learned from speakers like Don Berwick and Tom Daschle about how physicians can help fix our health care system. At our National Lobby Day, doctors and medical students met with members of Congress and their staff to discuss ways to improve the system.
- Spoke up for the doctor-patient relationship. The voices of two hundred Florida physicians inspired a bill to repeal a law that prevents Florida physicians from asking their patients about gun ownership.
- Helped create the country's first National Prevention Strategy. Over six hundred of us shared thoughts and eye-opening stories with the Surgeon General about ways prevention matters to our patients. We also submitted a letter to Congress emphasizing the importance of preserving the Prevention Fund's historic investments in prevention.
- Joined Health Policy Experts on popular monthly calls to go in depth on issues we need to understand as physician advocates - calls featuring Zeke Emanuel, Jeffrey Toobin, Jonathan Gruber, and many other luminaries.
- Worked to move forward Massachusetts Health Reform 2.0. Massachusetts members organized a hugely successful townhall meeting where 200 physicians and medical students spoke with Governor Deval Patrick and MA Secretary of HHS JudyAnn Bigby about delivery system reform.
In 2012, we face tough new challenges. We have to ensure physician ideas are driving the implementation of reform and the push for more change. But to do so, we have to counter mounting forces that want to roll back health reform by defunding it, blocking it, and even repealing it.
That's why we'll soon be launching our biggest and boldest effort to date - the One Million Campaign to engage, educate, and empower 1,000,000 people across the country to speak up for health reform.
We'll be doing something that's never been done before: physicians and medical students educating over a million people across America about the truth about health reform. The One Million Campaign is about changing the national conversation on health care. It's about reestablishing doctors and patients as the drivers of health reform.
To kick off the One Million Campaign in January 2012, we need your support. The good news is that we have a donor who is willing to match contributions up to $200,000!
Because of the dedication of our members and supporters, we've always been able to dream big and act boldly. In 2012, our campaign is going to be bigger and bolder than ever before. We can't wait to get started.
We wish you peace, good health, and joy in the new year. Happy holidays!
Vivek, Alice, Samantha, Milan, Mona, Evan, Carol, Chris and the rest of the Doctors for America team