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Healthcare and politics are about as opposite as the sun and the moon. At least that’s what I used to think. I always thought people went into healthcare because a) they truly wanted to help people b) they were good people and c) they didn’t want anything to do with lawyers or politicians.
Little did I know that politics and healthcare are more closely intertwined than I ever imagined. Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be a post about choosing sides during this highly divisive time in American history or a drawn out commentary on healthcare policy and politics. That’s not what this blog is about. Instead, I’d like to focus on what we as healthcare providers can do to make our voices heard. Vote.
A letter from a Congressman
I received a letter from my Congressman a few weeks ago. It was printed on fancy letterhead made of heavy recycled paper. I thought the recycled paper was a nice touch. The letter’s intent was to let the reader and others like me, healthcare workers, know that the author acted on our behalf during the early days of the pandemic. This particular Congressman worked to pass the CARES Act, secured needed PPE, and wrote legislation to secure funding for our hospitals. All of these details and more were included in the letter.
This representative isn’t someone that would otherwise be on my radar. Nonetheless, I appreciated the gesture towards healthcare workers. Especially, after experiencing shortages of PPE first hand, reduced pay, and cessation of benefits that I previously took for granted. The Congressman’s words were a welcome reminder that someone noticed my plight.
I can’t tell you who to vote for in the upcoming election. However, it’s up to you to take a look at the issues most important to you and your belief system. Take a look at your values and how they line up with the issues. Vote for the candidates that are most in line with your personal mission statement. Just as water runs through a sieve, run the candidates through the filter of your standards and see if they come out on the other side better or worse for wear.
Research the policy issues that are most important to you. For me, as a healthcare provider, I want to ensure that my patients have access to healthcare and medications, that there’s enough PPE available when I need to go into an exam room, that my colleagues will be there when I need help instead of being laid off or furloughed, and lastly that none of my patients, friends, or family members suffer the consequences of my inaction. It is a duty and privilege to cast your vote.
I’d like to simply encourage all of you to vote. This post was about healthcare, policy, and a letter from a congressman impacting my vote as a healthcare provider.
Stay safe and take care of yourselves.