Friday, October 23, 2009

Speaking at the West 75th Street Block Association General Meeting

I was invited to speak at the West 75th Street Block Association General meeting on Oct 22 at 7:30 pm. It took place at the West End Collegiate Church on 77th Street between West End Avenue and Broadway. A representative from NYC for Change, Aliya Quraishi, was also present. We shared the stage. First, Aliya gave a brief overview of the heath care reform legislation. Then I gave the physician's perspective on Health Care Reform and why it is so necessary. The audience was very receptive to my stories and points. Several members of the audience felt moved to share their own stories. One member of the audience described when she was prescribed a medication by her doctor but the insurance company wouldn't cover it. Another member of the audience told the story of when she tried to by her prescriptions in the US it cost $680 so she went to visit her sister in Canada and got them all for $150. Next, we had a question and answer session. Some of the questions I fielded were: Why are drug prices so much higher in the US? Will the public option cover tests for Celiac Disease? Why don' they focus more on nutrition in the Health Care Reform Legislation? Will the Public Option cover chiropractors and alternative medicine? Can I explain the single payer nation health plan model? Who decides how much an x-ray costs? At the end, I received very good feed back from the organizers and audience members. Hopefully some more of these people will get involved.

Rafi Pristoop, MD

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