CHICAGO (Thursday, July 13, 2019) – A grassroots organization of frontline doctors and healthcare providers today announced they are launching a national effort to mobilize their fellow physicians and engage voters in a political advocacy campaign to protect Medicare and quality, affordable healthcare.
The Committee to Protect Medicare and Affordable Care (CTP) is among the first organizations of doctors and healthcare providers that will hold the Trump Administration and politicians in Congress accountable when they threaten to cut Medicare, take away healthcare for people with pre-existing conditions and refuse to take meaningful action to reduce high prescription drug costs, among other health priorities. More than 50 doctors from 14 states, ranging from Maryland and Michigan to Florida, Iowa and New Mexico, have joined the committee.
“Doctors see how devastating it can be when patients can’t afford to buy medications or pay for a potentially lifesaving test, and many of us realized we can’t be silent any longer, not when the Trump Administration is actively trying to take healthcare away from millions of our fellow Americans,” said CTP Executive Director Dr. Rob Davidson, an emergency physician in a small rural hospital in Fremont, Mich. “Americans are worried that for-profit drug corporations will continue jacking up prices and big insurance companies will deny healthcare for people with pre-existing conditions, which is half of the entire country. We want ordinary Americans to know doctors are on their side, and together we will stand up to politicians who put drug and insurance company profits ahead of people’s health.”
CTP is a 501c4 organization that is mobilizing doctors and patients nationwide to ensure politicians don’t cut Medicare, the national health program for Americans 65 and older, and those with disabilities, totaling 60 million people in 2018. The Trump Administration’s 2020 budget includes cutting $845 billion from Medicare, as well as hundreds of millions more to Medicaid and Social Security. In early May, the Trump Administration formally kicked off its bid to eliminate the federal healthcare law that prevents insurance companies from denying care or raising rates to people with pre-existing conditions, allows people to stay on their parents healthcare until age 26, and reins in skyrocketing drug and medical costs.
“Access to affordable health care should not start at age 65, with Medicare. It should be available to people of all ages,” said Dr. Mary Kemen of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, who has served for, among other organizations, Doctors Without Borders. “The United States is the only industrialized nation that does not control medical costs and ensure access for all patients. The current administration’s proposed cuts to Medicare and Medicaid would further erode Americans’ unaffordable health care.”
CTP doctors and members will engage citizens in multiple states to pressure their members of Congress and the Trump Administration to strengthen and expand Medicare and healthcare. The doctors will use town halls and public events, social media, opportunities through news outlets and direct advocacy to share their frontline stories, and fact check misinformation and distortions about healthcare.
“At our clinic, we see every day how healthcare directly helps people be more productive members of their communities because when people have healthcare, they’re more likely to be healthy, work and stay in their jobs, help grow local businesses and drive our economy forward,” said Dr. Farhan Bhatti, CEO and medical director of Care Free Medical in Lansing, Mich., which treats thousands of uninsured and under-insured people in Mid-Michigan every year. “We meet folks every day who struggle harder and harder to get basic medications because politicians put up barriers for ordinary, hardworking families to get quality, affordable healthcare for themselves and their families, and as a doctor, I believe that the role of our policymakers in Washington is to put people and patients first. Every time our clinic helps a person get healthier, that person has a little bit more freedom, a little bit more personal security and the physical ability to seize opportunities that benefit themselves and our community. When politicians threaten to take healthcare away, they’re threatening to put all of that at risk.”
“Doctors across America are increasingly concerned that powerful drug and insurance corporations and Washington politicians are taking aim at the healthcare system that improves the lives of hundreds of millions of our fellow Americans,” said Dr. Richard Bruno, a family physician in Baltimore, Md. “Our health insurance system isn’t working the way it should for ordinary Americans. I see many patients who are worried about escalating costs, and what tomorrow will bring. Healthcare is at the heart of strengthening America for everyone and doctors are speaking out now because we’re deeply concerned that our patients will be the victims as Washington is taking potshots at healthcare for political reasons.”
About the Committee to Protect Medicare and Affordable Care
The Committee to Protect Medicare and Affordable Care is a 501c4 made up of frontline doctors engaging in direct advocacy and communications in support of a strong healthcare system in America. Based in Chicago and made up doctors from states across the United States, CTP aims to organize and elevate the voices of doctors and clinicians to preserve Medicare, advance affordable care and expand access to healthcare across the United States. CTP is mobilizing in several states critical to the national healthcare debate, including Michigan, Nevada, Iowa, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and Arizona. During the height of the 2017 healthcare debate in Congress, CTP added more than 100,000 page likes and was one of the top online advocacy organizations in the country as measured by Facebook engagement data, producing tens of thousands of calls, emails, and letters to key House and Senate members. To learn more: http://committeetoprotect.org/
About Executive Director Rob Davidson, MD
Rob Davidson has more than 20 years’ experience as an emergency physician. He and his wife, Diana Flynn Davidson, MD, live in the village of Spring Lake in West Michigan. They have three children.