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Pro-single-payer doctors seek place at Monday meeting with Obama

Pro-single-payer doctors seek place at Monday meeting with Obama

Physicians supporting 'Improved Medicare for All' decry exclusionary list of doctors invited to White House, seek full hearing for single-payer plan

Media advisory

For immediate release
Oct. 4, 2009

Contact:
Margaret Flowers, M.D., (410) 591-0892, mdpnhp@gmail.com
Paul Hochfeld, M.D., (541) 740-4065, phochfeld@msn.com
Mike Huntington, M.D., (541) 829-1182
Mark Almberg, Physicians for a National Health Program, (312) 782-6006, cell: (312) 622-0996, mark@pnhp.org
David Lerner or Karmen Ross, Riptide Communications, (212) 260-5000

WASHINGTON -- Dr. Margaret Flowers and Dr. Paul Hochfeld, leading figures in the national movement for a single-payer health program, will lead a delegation of physicians to the White House Monday, Oct. 5, to seek a place at a meeting between President Obama and an estimated 50 doctors who have been invited to show their support for his health insurance reform measures.

Dr. Margaret Flowers, a Maryland pediatrician and congressional fellow for Physicians for a National Health Program, remarked, "The current health reform being written in Congress, particularly that being put together in the Senate Finance Committee (which is literally being written by a former vice president of WellPoint, a large insurer), will not be universal and will not control health costs. It will not stop medical bankruptcies and foreclosures due to medical debt. It will not end the suffering and preventable deaths. It will not produce a health care system that uses our health care dollars wisely."

She continued: "We have a simple solution that will end the suffering and save lives: Expanded and improved Medicare for All. Most Americans and most physicians support such an approach, but this solution is being excluded. The White House is once again excluding those who advocate for real health reform."

Dr. Paul Hochfeld, an Oregon emergency medicine physician, producer of the film "Health, Money and Fear" and a member of the group Mad as Hell Doctors who just completed at 26-city, cross-country tour advocating single payer, said: "We call on President Obama to be honest with the American people and tell them that nothing being seriously considered in Congress will fix the current health care crisis. We call on Congress and the president to delay the passage of health care reform legislation until public health authorities, health care providers, patient advocates, economists and health system administrators participate in a public dialogue to determine how we can get the most health for our precious health care dollars."

Hochfeld continued: "The health insurance and pharmaceutical industry have demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are only interested in corporate profits. They should be kept out of the room."

What
Delegation of physicians who support single-payer national health insurance, often called an improved Medicare for All, will seek entry to a meeting between President Obama and a group of about 50 handpicked physicians supporting the president's proposed reforms.

Who
Dr. Margaret Flowers, Maryland pediatrician and congressional fellow, Physicians for a National Health Program. Dr. Paul Hochfeld, Oregon emergency room physician and leader of Mad as Hell Doctors, a group of physicians who recently crisscrossed the country from Portland, Ore., to Washington. Other physicians, nurses and patients who support an improved and expanded Medicare for All.

Where
Initially outside the White House gates. If not admitted, outside the fence near the Rose Garden, venue of the president's speech to the invited doctors. (The Rose Garden meeting is scheduled for 11:10 a.m. EDT.) Look or physicians in white coats, signs, and banner.

When
10 a.m. EDT, Monday, Oct. 5

Physicians for a National Health Program is an organization of 17,000 doctors who advocate for single-payer national health insurance. For more information, visit www.pnhp.org or call (312) 782-6006.