This is a guest blog post by Dr. Katherine Scheirman, guest speaker at our next meeting. Bio info below.
It's time for America to put patients over politics – to make sure that every American can get health care when they need it.
For years, though, we have been going in the wrong direction, with millions of Americans struggling without health insurance, millions more seeing rising costs and being swamped by outrageous medical bills, in a terribly inefficient system.
Two years ago, things took a big turn for the better when we passed the Affordable Care Act. Already, 2.5 million more young adults are newly insured. Millions of seniors have received help paying for their medications. Hospitals and doctors have started to improve the quality, coordination and safety of care as a result of the health reform law’s incentives. Preventive care is now available for millions of people without co-pays or deductibles. Millions of patients are now enjoying protections from insurance company abuses, and many more stand to benefit from the reforms that start in 2014. After decades of struggle for a better health care system, we are finally moving toward a health care system that works for all Americans.
But we face an urgent threat: Many politicians and special interests are making health reform about partisan politics – instead of about people. An unrelenting barrage of negative rhetoric has left 2 out of 3 Americans confused or frankly misinformed about the health care law. Millions of senior citizens have no idea that the health care law will strengthen Medicare and guarantee them access to preventive services. And the confusion is only getting worse.
The House of Representatives is making an all-out effort to repeal and defund the Affordable Care Act. They've had small successes - passing a bill to repeal the law in the House of Representatives, coming close to invalidating the health care law's guarantee of contraception access for women, and slashing billions of dollars from the Prevention and Public Health Fund. If they succeed, we will lose the biggest step we've taken in a generation toward comprehensive health reform. At a human level - that means that people will die – maybe even someone you know and love.
Doctors for America, a national movement of 15,000 physicians and medical students from all 50 states, is going to fight the lies with a historic bus tour of health care providers and patients, traveling from the Republican Convention in Tampa, FL to the Democratic Convention in Charlotte, NC August 26 through September 7.
We will make sure as many people as possible see patients and providers taking a stand and educating people about the facts on health reform. On the road between Tampa and Charlotte, we will stop in cities and towns to get the word out. We will also conduct health care screenings – to promote the expanded prevention benefits that health reform is bringing to millions of Americans.
Other ways you can make an impact:
· Recruit health care providers, patients, and advocates to join the virtual bus tour
· Work with groups like the Rotary Club or a local church to educate them about why the Affordable Care Act and health care for all matters.
· Become a resource for local media when they are doing stories on health reform. We'll show you how!
· Make a donation to help pay for gas, bus, signs, food, and lodging!
After over twenty years service in the United States Air Force, Colonel (Dr.) Katherine Scheirman retired in 2006. Dr. Scheirman earned a BA from Michigan State University, an MD from the University of Oklahoma, and an MHA from Baylor University. She is board-certified in Internal Medicine and is a Fellow of the American College of Physician Executives. Since retirement from the Air Force, Dr. Scheirman has been an advocate for veterans and the military, and serves as a teaching fellow for the American College of Physician Executives and senior advisor to VoteVets.org. During her Air Force career, Dr. Scheirman developed first-hand experience with healthcare systems in the US, Japan, the U.K., and other NATO countries. As an advocate for healthcare reform, she is Oklahoma director for Doctors for America.
Please come to our next meeting to learn more about the Affordable Care Act from Dr. Scheirman.