A rowdy team of six Oregon doctors set off on a cross-country road trip, reaching their first destination today, as they campaign for support of a single-payer health care plan, writes Bill Graves of the Oregonian. Their slogan? “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore.”
The procession of physicians is cruising east in a used motor-home to Washington, D.C., stopping in 27 cities along the way and blogging daily about their journey. They hope to gather support for a single-payer model, and possibly bring the idea back to the congressional drawing board. The doctors believe a single-payer health care plan has been shot down because of politicians’ close ties with drug and insurance companies, who often contribute to their campaigns.
Dr. Paul Gorman, one of the touring doctors, believes that insurance companies are responsible for low life expectancies and high infant mortality rates despite quality hospital equipment and well-trained doctors, wrote William McCall, Associated Press writer. Said Gorman:
We’re getting Third World results and third-rate health care because of an insurance system that prevents those nurses, prevents those doctors, and prevents those hospitals from giving the care they can.
Despite entering somewhat late in the healthcare debate, the group has received heavy publicity in recent weeks. The group even received a call from the White House after the doctor’s online “Letter to Obama”, which requested a meeting with the President and encouraged supporters to email and call in defense of their request, plugged up the White House inbox.