The day one of the staunchest opposers to President Barack Obamas Affordable Care Act (ACA) sealed the Republican nomination, students passing by the USF Bookstore Tuesday afternoon were greeted by a woman in a lab coat with a clipboard and a large stack of paper in hand.
Dr. Vivek Murthy, President and Co-founder of Doctors for America, said more doctors should be at the forefront of healthcare reform and that the general public has been misinformed and told numerous falsehoods about the law.
In the past year all the discussion over health reform has really been driven by politicians, Murthy said.
Since the ACA was passed in 2010, Republican politicians have rallied against the law.
Doctors for America highly opposes repealing the law.
We dont want to go backward, he said. We dont want to tear this whole thing down and go back to where we were a few years ago.We see it as a law that has a lot of good things in it that can really help our patients.
On their tour, the doctors will be highlighting the benefits of the ACA, including the end of lifetime caps on coverage, the option to stay on parents coverage until the age of 26, free preventive services for Medicare and new insurance patients, lower prescription costs for seniors, as well as an increase in the number of grants appropriated for primary care residency programs and more training for physician assistants.
Dr. Rita Nguyen from California stood in front of the bookstore as a part of Doctors for America, an organization of over 15,000 doctors from all fifty states who all stand for health care reform.
Students who walked by the small stand were asked to join more than 6,000 others who have signed their petition. Signers of thepetition agree that they ensure the ACA is implemented.
Many members of the organization are in their first days of a 12-day Patients Over Politics Tour of doctors and patients that will take them from the Republican National Convention, here in Tampa, to the Democratic National Convention, in Charlotte, N.C.
(The ACA) is saving peoples lives now already, and will continue to when its fully implemented in 2014, Nguyen said.
The Doctors of America will be holding town hall meetings, visit- ing college campuses, providing preventive health tips and screenings, as well as hosting fundraising events, just to get the word out about the ACA, Nguyen said.
Whether youre a republican or a democrat whoever you want to vote for in this election we dont care, Nguyen said. What we care about is peoples lives.