Doctors protest in Jeffersonville

IUS Horizon

Doctors who are part of the Mad as Hell Doctors group, protest in Jeffersonville about health care reform.
Doctors who are part of the Mad as Hell Doctors group, protest in Jeffersonville about health care reform.
A group of doctors angry with health care met in Jeffersonville on Sept. 22 for a rally and a march across the Clark Memorial Bridge.

The doctors, calling themselves the Mad as Hell Doctors, are traveling from Oregon to Washington D.C. in their recreational vehicle, nicknamed “Winnie.” They are stopping at 27 cities along the way to voice their opinions about what they consider a broken health care system.

“I’m mad as hell at a broken health care system that allows insurance companies to drive up costs for big profits,” Paul Hochfeld, rallier from Corvallis, Ore., said.

The group said their plan is to rally support for a single-payer health care plan, in which one public fund provides health care for everyone.

They also said they plan to stage a conference, complete with table and chairs, on the White House lawn Sept. 30, inviting President Barack Obama to discuss the issue with them.

The Jeffersonville rally, which was delayed half an hour because of rain, began around 8 p.m. on Southern Indiana Avenue.

Jeffersonville Mayor Tom Galligan kicked off the event by voicing his support of a single-payer plan.

“We need to take care of our weakest,” Galligan said.

With a crowd of about 100, the Mad as Hell ralliers, local doctors and local residents shared stories of bankruptcy from health care bills, being denied coverage by health insurers and not being able to afford coverage and limiting their health care needs because of high costs.

Bruce Burton, who practices medicine in Corydon, Ind., said he supports a single-payer plan but is all for the public-option plan, which incorporates both public and private insurers.

“At the least, I want to see the public-option plan, ideally it’s the fastest way to reform,” Burton said. “I think the single-payer plan is out-of-reach but will be reachable in time.”

Jim Marquart, Clarksville resident and republican, said he supports a single-payer plan.

“It’s the least-cost approach,” Marquart said.

Staff Writer