The political season is in full swing. The Republican National Convention is over (yes, watching an 82 year old Clint Eastwood berating an empty chair was also my personal favorite) and the Democratic National Convention will soon get underway. Politics, partisanship, and spectacles, to no one’s surprise, has trumped the issues of real people.
But not so for a small band of physicians from Doctors for America who are en route from the RNC in Tampa, Florida to the DNC in Charlotte, North Carolina as part of the ‘Patients Over Politics Bus Tour.’ Along the way, they are sharing truths, dispelling myths, and spreading wisdom about health care, health care reform, and the Affordable Care Act. It’s about patients, not about politics.
Doctors for America is a grassroots organization of physicians and medical students with a singular non-political, non-partisan goal: to ensure that every single one of us has access to high quality, affordable medical care.
Let’s get started ourselves by stating a few truths about how health care reform is already helping real people.
Truth #1: You can no longer be denied health care coverage because of a pre-existing condition. Let’s be honest, how could it ever have been fair to not provide individuals with health insurance coverage because they are already sick?
Truth #2: Young adults are now receiving coverage under their parents’ plans up to the age of 26. Right out of college, first job part-time, no insurance, limited funds. This is not the time to be bankrupt because you happen to trip and break your leg and can’t afford care.
Truth #3: Finally we can re-focus on preventative health care. Medicare and new insurance plans will now provide preventative services for free. Women can get mammograms, cervical cancer screenings, and birth control. And an investment in more doctors, nurses, and other health professionals with a focus on primary care will help meet these goals.
There are countless other truths and myths that need to be spread. No, the ACA is not a ‘government takeover of medicine.’ No, the government will not be telling your doctor what he or she can do. Trust me, I am that doctor, and you better believe it that you and I, and not the government, are still making decisions together about your health care.
Kudos to Vivek Murthy, Alice Chen, and the rest of the DFA team and volunteers for stepping up to do just that, educating real people along their Patients Over Politics bus tour. How can you get more involved?
1. Educate yourself: The DFA website is full of educational information about health care reform and the Affordable Care Act. Learn the truths, not just what the pundits and politicians want you to hear.
2. Take action: If nothing else, sign the Patients Over Politics declaration to stop playing politics with health reform.
Health care affects us all. Do your part now.