Thursday, August 30, 2012

Doctors For America show support at #RNC2012

By Nick Williams

A major topic and polarizing issue during this presidential election has been health care in America. There are those who support providing affordable health care and prohibiting insurance companies from refusing or dropping coverage for certain conditions, while others oppose a requirement that nearly all Americans obtain health insurance.


Despite those views, those that know the medical field best -- the doctors -- are coming forward on the issue.
Tony Martin, a patient from Seattle, shows support
for the Doctors For America rally Thursday.
Nick Williams/Bradenton Herald
In Tampa this week for the Republican National Convention are dozens of doctors from across the nation who are voicing their support for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a health reform act encouraged by the Obama Administration. The law includes prohibiting insurance companies from refusing coverage or changing rates based on pre-existing conditions, allows young adults through age 26 to stay on their parents plan, and require most employers provide coverage for their workers.
And regardless of their political affiliation, the physicians in are fighting for one purpose -- providing affordable health care to Americans.
Doctors for America, a national movement consisting of 15,000 physicians and medical students in all 50 states, kicked off its Patients Over Politics Tour on Sunday when dozens of doctors rallied outside Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg for the RNC kickoff party. The tour will continue through the south and southeastern states until it arrives at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte on Sept. 3.
The organization made it first stop in downtown Tampa on Thursday, the final day of the convention. Roughly 30 physicians and patients from 17 states set up wooden physician booths inside Lykes Gaslight Park at the corner of Kennedy and Franklin, similar to those illustrated in Charlie Brown cartoons (you know, when Charlie sits with Lucy van Pelt to talk about his problems.
At the park, "I got into this movement because I was getting frustrated with insurance companies telling me who I can and can't take care of. I'm still frustrated," said Alice Chen, an internal medicine doctor in Los Angeles and executive director of Doctors for America. 
The act passed in November of 2009.

The Doctors For America Patients Over Politics Tour bus was stationed a few blocks from the Republican National Convention in downtown Tampa on Thursday. Nick Williams/Bradenton Herald

"Various things are being expanded," said Lisa Plymate, an internal medicine  from Seattle. "The donut whole is being shrunk. It has already taken affect for children."
"When I take care of patients, a major difficulty is funding care of patients," said Robert Luedecke, an anesthesiologist from Texas. "A lot of people who work minimum wage jobs in Texas have no insurance. Twenty-five percent of people in Texas have no insurance, that's the highest in the nation."
The organization has begun collecting signatures from doctors and patients across the country in support of the health care reform act. The Patients Over Politics Declaration of Support petition will be delivered to politicians throughout the tour. So far, 6,000 signatures have been collected. 
"We're very excited to be here and spread the word and make sure that politicians everywhere on both sides of the aisle, Republican and Democrat, will come together because ultimately, the affordable health care act and health reform is about saving lives and we can't afford to lose it," Chen said.

No comments:

Post a Comment