Health Insurance Reform Meets Mad As Hell Doctors
Advocates for a single payer national health insurance system are traveling across the United States to share their message with anyone who will listen. Beginning on September 8, 2009, the Mad As Hell Doctors take to the road and plan to stop in 30 cities along the way until they reach Washington, DC.
For three weeks, the core group of six physicians - an anesthesiologist, two internal medicine doctors (one retired), a family practitioner, a radiation oncologist, and an emergency room physician - will live in a 27-foot Winnebago as they motor from Oregon to Seattle, Portland, Idaho Falls, Fort Collins, Chicago, Detroit, Nashville, and Gettysburg, and points in between, to arrive at their destination on September 30 to October 1. With the motto “Drive Mad. Make History,” the doctors opened their campaign in Sequim, Washington, to a crowd of 700.
The Mad As Hell Doctors have one message for the country: a single payer system is the best health insurance plan for America. As explained on their website, in a single payer health care system, your tax dollars pay for a government-run, nonprofit agency that is administered by medical professionals. Participants in a single payer system do not pay premiums or out-of-pocket expenses: physician and hospital visits, medications, hospitalizations, surgeries - everything is paid by the single payer.
So far, attempts by the Mad As Hell Doctors to meet with President Obama have failed, as he has so far refused to speak with the group. The doctors hope Obama will reconsider their request as their cross country caravan to promote a single payer health insurance program gathers momentum and followers along the way. In fact, they are encouraging other doctors and citizens to join them along the route, and have set up a contact form online to help with recruitment.
The Mad As Hell Doctors plan to record their entire journey and make their videos available on social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and others. This effort, according to their website, “becomes an unprecedented hybrid of reality television and political activism” that offers the message “caravan with us to Washington and help make a public demonstration of support for Single Payer Health Care that will be heard around the world.”
One thing is for sure: the American people are finding new ways to vocalize their concerns about health insurance reform in the United States. The Mad As Hell Doctors and their Winnebago may not strike quite the same picture as the flower-painted VW vans filled with long-haired protestors from the sixties. But they are the new millennium’s protestors, and their opinions about health insurance will be heard.
Single Payer Action.org
The Mad As Hell Doctors.com