Docs make house calls over health care reform - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Docs make house calls over health care reform

By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A group of south Georgia doctors are calling for health care reform now.

More than a half dozen doctors say there's an urgent need for health care reform, and they won't stand idly by. Doctors say they know better than anyone that Georgians are struggling under the high cost of care.

They want Congress to pass health care reform soon, and they may ask for your support. If you signed a petition circulating in the community concerning healthcare, then you'll likely get a call from this group of doctors. They're calling more than 40,000 people encouraging them to push their Senators and Representatives to pass health care reform.

"I was calling to discuss health care reform with you," said Dr. Tania Smith, of Prestige Pediatrics.

Public opinion over health care reform remains divided and now these south Georgia health care professionals are weighing in. They joined forces with Organizing for America to push reform now.

"Right now people are looking for answers, they're looking for the truth about health care reform and doctors are a great place to start," said Ken King, Organizing for America.

Pediatrician Tania Smith is on the front line of this debate. While critics worry the President's plan may take decisions away from doctors, she feels insurance companies are already doing that.

"As the system is going now we have a lot of people who are medically ignorant making decisions and denying claims and making insurance populations where you don't have any wellness visits included in your plan," said Smith.

Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital's chaplain Quincy Smith hears the prayers from patients who struggle to pay for their health care and so he volunteered.

"Actually being afraid, a bit of trepidation, to go to a health care provider because of the cost. They suffer from various illnesses, they need medications, but the medications and care are just simply unaffordable," said Quincy Smith, PPMH Chaplain.

Doctors are urging those they call to contact their Representative and make their voice heard, whatever their opinion, because they say health care should be more comprehensive.

"The issues of after care, having someone to sign up in a sense to take care of you and how that process links itself," said Dr. Hugh Phillips, a psychologist.

They plan to keep calling because they say failure is not an option. Doctor's say they'll continue these reform phone banks every Friday, until they reach the 40-thousand people on their list. 

Friday they spent about three hours making calls. Medical professionals making calls said the President's reform plan gives those who have insurance more security and stability and offers affordable options for those who don't have health care.


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