Saturday, April 3, 2010

March 22 Health Insurance Reform March on Washington, DC

It was a rainy day and the buses were late but that didn't slow the momentum in the least. Two buses from Union Square set out carrying doctors, medical students, and other health care professionals to join hundreds more in Washington from around the country. The members of NPA-NY who were in attendance were Manisha Sharma, MD, Sharon Phillips, MD, Bill Jordan, MD, and Rafi Pristoop, MD.

The entire group first convened at Freedom Plaza where doctors, medical students, and nurses, from DC, New York, Vermont, Connecticut, Boston, Philadelphia, Virginia, Chicago, North Carolina, Florida, and California, gave personal testimonials about the need for Health Insurance Reform.



Next, we Marched to the Capitol in the pouring rain. Dr. Manisha Sharma led the crowd with spirited cheers using her megaphone. This is a great feat because although doctors are smart, they are generally rather dull people. So to get them yelling at the top of their lungs takes great persuasion and charisma. While we waited in line to enter the Senate Hart Building, where the Press Conference was to take place, we ate our soggy boxed lunches.



At the Press conference Senator Bingaman (D- NM), Rep. Jim McDermott MD (D- Seattle), Rep. Jan Shakowski ( D-IL) spoke along with leaders from Doctors For America, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and Nurses Alliance, showing support for the historic bill signed into law. Dr. Rafi Pristoop got to stand on stage next to the speakers. Again, Dr. Sharma led the audience in with great spirit. Senator Bingaman even made the comment, "I've attended a lot of events in this room and I've never seen so much enthusiasm before."

video

After the Press Conference Doctors split up and spoke to their respective Senators and Congresspeople. The New York delegations sent doctors to the offices of Senator Schumer, Senator Gillibrand, Rep Yvette Clarke, Rep McMahon, Rep Murphy, Rep Owens, and Rep Towns.

The final event of the day was a happy hour at a bar where everyone got to celebrate and relax after over a year of dedication, fighting, and hard work.