Press Release: Doctors for America Hosts Day of Action Advothon to Put Constituents First and Support Access to Affordable Health Care

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Doctors for America
PO Box 53313
1921 Florida Ave NW
Washington, DC  20009-9997

Candy Tai
Digital Communications Strategist
Doctors for America
[email protected]

WASHINGTON, D.C—March 21, 2022. Doctors for America (DFA) and the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) are hosting a Day of Action Advothon on Wednesday, March 23rd, to engage physicians, nurses, health care professionals and trainees to reach out to their Congressional Delegation. Participants from across the country will step into the Advothon Zoom Room between 12 – 4 pm EDT/ 9 am – 1 pm PDT to share why it’s important to support health care provisions that make a difference in patient’s lives and livelihood.

In particular:

  • Permanently extending the premium tax credits that were passed as part of the American Rescue Plan. These credits have made health insurance affordable to 9 mil people, but they are set to expire in December and they need to be extended so that people can continue getting the care that they need.
  • Closing the Medicaid coverage gap by expanding Medicaid in states that have failed to expand coverage. There are still 4 million Americans that have incomes that are below the poverty line, but too high to be eligible for Medicaid. Patients in this so-called “coverage gap” are often those we see with medical complications that could have been avoided with earlier preventive and regularly accessible comprehensive care.
  • Extending Medicaid postpartum coverage to 12 months nationwide. In many states,Mothers who have just given birth receive three months or less of postpartum health coverage on Medicaid. It is essential that mothers receive at least 12 months of postpartum coverage on Medicaid nationwide to reduce maternal mortality and widening disparities in health outcomes.
  • Giving Medicare the ability to negotiate prescription drug prices. This will not only provide patients with financial access to prescribed medications, but the savings from negotiating lower  prices for these prescription drugs can be used to provide millions of Americans further access to health care benefits, such as allowing Medicare to provide coverage of hearing aids for older adults.
  • Capping the monthly out of pocket cost of insulin at $35, including for those without insurance. Insulin, a medicine that is necessary to keep millions with diabetes alive and a treatment discovered long ago, is too expensive. No one should have to go without insulin because manufacturers keep its price too high. The total monthly out of pocket cap for insulin should be $35 regardless of insurance status, including for the uninsured.
  • Improving access to mental health care. The provider shortage and inequities in access to mental health care and resources represent a crisis in America. The United States needs a comprehensive, all-hands-on-deck strategy to build the capacity of the mental health care system. We also strongly support the normalization of mental health treatment for healthcare professionals and call for the removal of questions asked about healthcare professionals seeking behavioral health care for themselves on medical licensure applications to encourage healthcare professionals to get the necessary care they need.

Right now, many patients lack health coverage, one in four individuals can’t afford their prescription medications, and countless others cannot get access to essential mental health services. Much of what determines patients’ health and the course of their illness is completely outside of the walls of hospitals and clinics.

“Even though we are looking ahead to a post-pandemic future, as Doctors for America members, we know that our patients still face many access and affordability challenges that leave their health in jeopardy. It is a critical time for policy provisions that will address these issues. Expanding Medicaid, capping insulin out of pocket costs, expanding postpartum converge, allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices, and expanding access to mental health – these are all practical solutions that are needed right now. Join us to use this day of action to make a difference in our patients lives today.” – Krishnan Narasimhan, President and Board Chair, Doctors for America

“As an organization of medical students, AMSA knows that our ability to serve the health care needs of our communities is limited when patients can’t afford health coverage or medications. We are the future of healthcare and we must speak up for the needs of our patients, present and future. Expanding Medicaid coverage, helping patients and families afford insurance on the healthcare marketplace, and bringing down the cost of drugs by allowing Medicare to negotiate prices will make a difference in patient’s lives and in our ability to care for their health as future physicians.”       – Hannah Hendrix, National President of AMSA

Doctors care for patients across racial, socioeconomic, gender, geographic, and the political spectrum; they can give voice to diverse perspectives, stories, and needs that proposed policies are meant to address. On behalf of our patients everywhere, doctors and their partners in public health nationwide call on Congress to make sure these provisions are passed, funded, and implemented. Come and hear the stories yourself and join the Day of Action Advothon conversation!

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About Doctors for America

Doctors for America mobilizes doctors and medical students to be leaders in putting patients over politics to improve the health of our patients, communities, and nation. We are 20,000 physicians and medical students in all 50 states in representing all areas of specialization. Our impact areas focus on access to affordable care, community health and prevention, and health justice and equity.  Find out more at doctorsforamerica.org and on Twitter @drsforamerica.

Prescription Drugs, Affordable Care Act
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