Doctors for America – Patients Over Politics

As a tax paying North Carolina citizen, I dropped in on the CarolinaFest at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. The city should be very proud of the excitement and true diversity that was in attendance in vast numbers. I felt pride in America seeing people of all shapes, sizes and colors and seeing so many young people interested in what is going on. The best few minutes I spent was chatting with Dr. Becky, a dermatologist from Vermont. She was at a booth on Tryon Street (Charlotte’s main street) with the banner of the group she represented called “Doctors for America” with the key message of “Patients over Politics.”  From the material and what I gleaned from my conversation with Dr. Becky, they are an affiliation of 15,000 physicians and medical students who are advocating for the continuation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but sharpening the focus on patients not politics.

Their mission which can be found on is as follows:

“Doctors for America is a grassroots movement of 15,000 physicians and medical students who are working together to improve the health of the nation and to ensure that everyone has access to high-quality, affordable health care.”

Their passion matches my own in trying to perpetuate the continuation of ACA regardless of who wins the White House. I have noted earlier that to repeal this law would be a disservice to Americans. It is complex and needs further refinements, but to throw it out would be akin to throwing the baby out with the bath water. I am going to recite from one of their handouts as this is the voice of doctors and medical students rather than my own:

“Get the Facts: Busting the Top 10 Myths on the Affordable Care Act

MYTH #1″ It’s too complicated to understand any of it.
FACT: The basics are simple: 32 million more Americans will be insured. The worst insurance company abuses will end. We will start improving quality and controlling cost for everyone. FACT: explains the law and how it will be rolled out.

MYTH #2: It hasn’t helped anyone.
FACT: Insurance now covers: 1) Children with pre-existing conditions, 2) 3.1 million young adults through age 26, who can now stay on their parents’ plans, 3) Adults with pre-existing conditions can now sign up for high-risk plans. FACT: No more insurance company caps on how much they will spend on your health care.

MYTH #3: We can’t afford it.

FACT: We can’t afford not to have it. By promoting access to the right care, at the right place, at the right time, the ACA was designed to save money while keeping people healthier.

MYTH #4: It hurts Medicare and seniors.

FACT: Seniors get help affording prescription drugs. FACT: Seniors get annual check-ups with no copays. FACT: It invests in making Medicare work better for the long run for seniors and doctors, while cracking down on fraud.

MYTH #5: It’s increasing premiums and costs for families.

FACT: Private employer-based premiums were skyrocketing before the law, and it will help change that. FACT: Insurance companies now have to explain why they are raising rates on a public website. FACT: If insurance companies don’t spend enough of your premium dollars on health care, they are now required to send you a rebate at the end of the year.

MYTH #6: It’s hurting small businesses.

FACT: Many small businesses with fewer than 50 employees are now getting tax credits of up to 35% of health insurance premiums. Beginning in 2014, many small businesses will be eligible for tax credits up to 50% of insurance premiums.

MYTH #7: It’s unconstitutional.

FACT: The US Supreme Court ruled ACA is constitutional.

MYTH #8: It’s all about insurance and not about health.
FACT: It creates a national Prevention Fund – long overdue investment in improving health and preventing chronic disease. Communities across the country are already using grant money to help people live healthier lives. FACT: It invest in training more doctors, nurses, and other health professionals.

MYTH #9: It’s all about insurance and not about cost.

FACT: The Medicare and Medicaid Center for Innovation is promoting new models, innovations, and research across the country to start improving care while decreasing costs. FACT: The law invests in improving quality and coordination of care.

MYTH #10: It’s a government takeover of health care.

FACT: The ACA is a partnership between the government and businesses, communities, hospitals, doctors, and patients. It strengthens the private insurance market while protecting people and their health.

FACT: The more we know, the better the health and health care for our families and our country!”

I wanted to use the words of the doctors to tell the story. The only changes to the quote is the use of acronyms on occasion (ACA for Affordable Care Act, e.g.) for brevity. My rationale is there is so much misinformation and, I hate to say this, disinformation out there that Americans deserve to hear and see the real story. I go back to the fact ACA is largely a Republican idea and one that was set in motion by the GOP Presidential candidate in Massachusetts to me make the candidate and party extremely hypocritical. If Romney was to take the White House, repealing this imperfect, but transformative law would harm the very Americans who need it most. This is a way to strengthen the middle class and help those in poverty, many of whom are there because of lack of health care. People with insurance need to walk in the shoes of people without or who are under-insured. It is a very different experience and is a shame it occurs in a country like ours.

And, with a health care quality position of 38th in the world according to the World Health Organization with the highest cost , I don’t see why there is so much criticism over this, as the status quo before ACA started phasing in was unsustainable. The only rationale I can find is doing the opposite of what the Doctors for America advocate which is putting patients over politics. The GOP is putting politics first over patients. The fact a Democratic President refined a largely Republican idea as a compromise for a national health care system unnerves GOPers to no end. If you don’t believe this, why did Senator Jim DeMint, Mr. Tea Party, write a letter to President George Bush in 2007 advocating the Massachusetts plan highlighting the use of the mandate for coverage, which Romney took a lot of heat over when he did it. Now, the Senator seems to forget that he did this. Yet, in 2007, Senator DeMint did not say it, he did not text it, he did not tweet it or even send an email – he wrote a letter. That is the best example of hypocrisy I can recount – maybe I should write a letter about it. It is almost as bad as Newt changing his mind after changing his mind on global warming, which is recorded in a TV commercial with Nancy Pelosi, but I digress.

If there is any take away from this, please encourage people to check out this website  to learn more. Seeing information condensed into a readable form by doctors is far better than listening to a politician or a campaign commercial which is at best a half-truth.

Again, the website is

18 thoughts on “Doctors for America – Patients Over Politics

  1. Ah, now there you go, trying to substitute facts, logic, and common sense for political sound bytes! There is no justifiable reason for the US not to have national health care, and the Republican attacks are driven strictly by the medical/insurance lobbyists cash in their pockets. Our situation is an embarrassment to our country on the world stage.

    Great post.

  2. Good post. When talking to people they will agree with points in the ACA and explain how we need those things, while at the same time they are against the ACA because they don’t know that it does what they are saying we need. The biggest complaint I hear from people is the insurance mandate and lack of a public option.

    • Thanks. It so complex, it is very misunderstood and people have let others without sound footing misinform them or at worse disinform with malintent. With that said, there is a lot of good in it, hence the need for refinement not overhaul. I appreciate your reading and commenting.

  3. I’m afraid Barney’s right: you and I both think logic and reasoning will win the day when these days it’s a question of who yells louder and gets the biggest reaction. But this is very well done and I thank you!

    • I guess I have this wish people will have an epiphany and say it is not so bad at all. Then wonder if this isn’t so bad, what else have I been told….kind of like the woman in the Prego ad who after blind tasting her brand Ragu and Prego realized the other one tastes better. Then she begins speculating what other bad decisions has she made…Thanks for reading and commenting, BTG

      • I wish people would look past the headline and sound bite to look into both sides of the issue and see what is really going on. Yet with the short attention spans if it doesn’t fit in 500 words or less people don’t want to read, think, or really understand an issue. They just want the stick figure picture of what is going on and don’t want to bother with getting the full image. They are willing to let fear make the decision for them.

        P.S. Both Prego and Ragu are bad spaghetti sauce. A family recipe I have is the best. 🙂

  4. ya know, speaking as a Canadian, I don’t understand what the fuss is about. It’s like you are being offered a fully stocked kitchen but refuse it saying ‘nope, this family has eaten boiled boots for generations and we like the taste. We’ll eat boiled boots until the day we die…prematurely, in pain and of some disease that has been eradicated everywhere else. But we’ll die proud.’
    Does anyone really believe we have ‘death panels’ in Canada? I mean, really? Must be a rumour spread by the thousands of elderly Canadians who winter in Florida, Arizona, New Mexico and Southern California but spend summers in Canada to maintain their health care benefits. They want to make sure there’ll be lots of vacancies in the sunshine condos for Canadian family members and friends when they retire.
    Seriously, though, I’m so glad to hear there is a medical organization dedicated to helping maintain progress in your health care system. All we hear up here are neo-con wing nuts promoting fear among the good people we like to think of as our neighbours.
    Thank you for the reassurance there are still bright lights on the other side of that mucky great fence youse are building on the border (but that is another story).
    I’ve rambled long enough. Thank you again.

    • Maureen, thanks for writing from the Great White North. Our Health Care Industrial Complex has helped perpetuate one of the greatest con jobs on US citizens – that a national health care system is some evil being and that the US one is the greatest thing since slice bread – it is if you have money and very good insurance, but even then it over prescribes and over medicates. Obamacare is an imperfect compromise, but it is a workable plan which should continue. Canada has a lot of great things going for it – check out an earlier post I wrote called “Oh Canada – you rock” which references your average wealth per citizen. Thanks for reading and commenting. BTG

  5. I love it!! I agree – there is so much misinformation floating around. It doesn’t help that many of the major changes are phased in so people don’t see immediate results. But people have no idea that their free preventative care is a resut of Obamacare or that their kids not being denied insurance due to a pre-exisiting condition is a result of Obamacare. We have a great campaign in Colorado called “Thanks Obamacare” where people share stories of how they have benefitted from the new law. We should be shouting from the streets about the benefits of this law, standing with doctors to improve our healthcare system – and tweaking parts that need tweaking, not rolling back this momentous law. Thanks for helping educate about this!

  6. I am not certain why the 18% of GDP argument fits here. The fact that there now exists a huge physician shortage is at really least the reason why Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants really should choose up the slack. All of us know that. The challenge is political. Physicians in general and several who’re AMA members cannot accept the fact that PA’s and NP’s are incredibly smart and competent professionals. Most MD’s who embrace us possess a much much more rich and full exercise and people who trust to accomplish the best factor and practice competently, do a lot better than practices and systems that don’t. It can be just that uncomplicated, people. This is certainly all centered on egotistical physicians and managers who’re a lot more concerned with losing their political clout as opposed to looking for the genuine photograph. That is so childish and foolish and won’t previous quite extended. When MD’s realize they simply just cannot survive independently without us, I will chuckle loudly after they begin to beg to acquire us within their practices!!!

    • Thanks for reading and commenting. With the shortage of GPs, we need PA’s and NP’s. They have tended to have better customer service skills. Someone has to get to know the patient and focus the MDs to help on a targted basis. A nurse led team in a GP’s office is actually a best practice model of care. The team is more available to the patient, even walking them out to the car after a visit. This uses the MDs in a more efficacious way. Keep on offering your comments. Thanks, BTG

  7. Pingback: Doctors for America and their take on Obamacare | musingsofanoldfart

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