Iowans Participate in Million Med March Saturday in Des Moines to Sound Alarm About Disastrous Health Care Legislation

DES MOINES – Iowa medical professionals who warn that pending legislation to change America’s health care system will send costs soaring out of control while diminishing patient care will rally in Des Moines on Saturday to call attention to the issue.

Opponents of the health care legislation will gather on the west terrace of the Iowa Statehouse from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday. Dr. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, an Ottumwa ophthalmologist who is leading the Iowa chapter of the Million Med March, said Thursday that proposed legislation is “not the solution” to the rising medical costs that are pushing the nation’s health care system to the brink of bankruptcy.

“The first rule we learn as physicians is the Hippocratic oath to do no harm. What the House and Senate are proposing will not only harm our health care system, their actions will kill what has been the pillar of medical care in the world,” she said. “A cold Saturday afternoon in late November may not be the most convenient time for a march, but there’s too much at stake not to have our voices heard. We have to convince our elected representatives to stop this very dangerous plan that will bankrupt us by spending over $1 trillion of our taxes while actually reducing Americans’ access to care.”

Miller-Meeks added, “The fundamental objective of healthcare reform must be to lower costs without decreasing its value. We must find ways to lower the costs that are straining the system to the breaking point.”

Million Med March was founded on the following principles:

• Medical decisions need to be made by doctors and their patients. Empower the patient to take control of their own healthcare through free market solutions. By allowing the patient to engage directly with their primary care physician, a large portion of routine and preventative care can be accomplished without the interference of a middleman.
• No legislation should become law without serious tort reform because the medical profession currently spends $400 billion a year for coverage, representation and settlements.
• Eliminating state monopolies and allowing the portability of health insurance across state lines to make insurance more affordable. By uncoupling health insurance from employers patients will have the ability to control their own coverage. These methods create competition, which is the only true way to drive down healthcare costs.
• Transforming the reimbursement and billing systems that are strangling medical practices. “Right now, 35 percent of healthcare costs are spent for administrative purposes only and are raising the cost that are eventually being passed on to our patients. We need a simplified transparent reimbursement system,” Miller-Meeks said.

Des Moines rally speakers include Rudy Schellekens, a Holland native familiar with the pitfalls of a single-payer system, nurse Virginia Jones, physician recruiter Becky Helgerson, 9/12 Project of Des Moines activist Lynn Rodgers and Miller-Meeks.

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