Our guest blogger is Dr. Laura Davies, a psychiatrist with a private practice dealing with forensic cases.
Doctors for America is taking our message of health care on the road. On Sunday, we kicked off the tour outside the RNC near Tropicana field. Although the RNC delayed their convention by a day, we are out in full force. On our very first stop, we had people crossing the street to ask doctors for medical information. We had passersby stopping and applauding. On of the major papers showed up and spoke with 5 local physicians, getting hometown perspective. This bodes well for our exciting and challenging journey. We will be holding a March for Health Reform on Thursday.
We are on a 12-day, seven-city tour, taking more than 50 doctors and patients from 17 states into the community. On Sunday, we brought the “Patients over Politics” blue bus out into Tropical Storm Isaac and spoke about the facts on reform and stories of patient — right outside Tropicana field where the RNC was kicking off with a party. We discussed our organization of 15,000 doctors committed to health care reform and to providing better care for our patients.
At many points along the way, we are explaining the impact of the Affordable Care Act on our patients. We have collected over 5,000 signed declarations of support for this bus tour from Deans of Medical Schools, patients, and health care professionals. Some of the stories include a grandmother who is concerned that her granddaughter cannot get the care she needs after intestinal surgery because her daughter was laid off.
Even when off duty, the “doctors are in.” At dinner last night, a former federal judge and his wife were curious about the bus, and we explained the impact of various policies on them as new retirees, which, even as well-educated seniors, they had not known. On the road, people are curious about the big blue bus and inadvertently become more educated about health care.
Health policy is not the only thing on the agenda. We are also performing blood pressure screenings, educating students about “dorm health,” and discussing women’s health issues.
As physicians, we see the terrible consequences when people do not have access to primary care. We want to help prevent illness, not treat catastrophic diseases. By going to both Presidential Conventions, we are urging all of our elected officials to put patients over politics, implement the ACA, and continue to push health reform forward.