I am writing to you from Capitol Hill where I am standing with a group of medical students and future health care providers from around the country rallying to #ProtectOurPatients. We want Congress to understand that future healthcare providers stand united in our belief that repealing the ACA and leaving 30 million without health insurance coverage is not acceptable and will do clear harm to our patients. We aredelivering a petition signed by more than 4,000 future health care providers representing more than 140 medical schools in all 50 states. We are rallying outside the Capitol and meeting with key Senators from both the Republican and Democratic Party, because for us, maintaining access to high quality, affordable health care for all Americans is not a partisan issue. We value patients over politics and we need your help to let Congress know that you stand with us today.
The newly sworn in Senate and House are already taking the first steps toward repealing major parts of the ACA that have added more than 20 million people to the ranks of the insured. Right now, fewer than 10% of people in America are uninsured - the lowest rate ever.
Republican Senators and Representatives want to vote this month to take away this coverage with only a vague promise to replace it with “something better.” That's not acceptable for our patients.
The public outcry about this is growing louder every day, and it's starting to work. Four Republican Senators have publicly said that they are concerned about repealing the ACA without putting forward a replacement plan. We need three Republican Senators to commit to vote no on a rushed repeal.
Whether your Senators and Representative want to improve the ACA or repeal it, your outreach to their offices will be valuable. Tell them what repeal would mean to you personally. A simple phone call from a physician makes a huge difference! If you want to go the extra mile, ask to meet with them or their staff this month. Ask to set up a meeting in their local district office (or in DC if you're willing to travel) and invite other physician advocates to come with your representing our united voice. If they are on your side, you can be a valuable resource for them as a physician in the trenches they can draw on for support. If they're not on your side, this is our opportunity to show them we value patients over politics and they should too.
Our goal is to make sure every Senator and House member hears from us. Are you in?
Kyle Ragins is a member of the Doctors for America Board of Directors and serves as an emergency medicine resident physician at UCLA.