President Obama rallies health care professionals

By Ryan Nobles - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Doctors, nurses and health care professionals have been called upon by President Barack Obama, to make their voices heard. While the industry does have a mix of supporters and opponents, the president is hopeful those who are on his side do the best job at getting his message out.

It is not uncommon to see doctors and nurses decked out in scrubs at the Fan Free Clinic in Richmond. But usually they are treating patients. Not on the phone attempting to convince U.S. Senators to support health care reform.

Doctor Nelson Gregory is a Henrico based chiropractor who believes that the only way reform will be meaningful is if it includes the so called "public option" for health insurance.

"I think without the public option, we won't have the leverage to bargain with the health insurance companies or with the drug companies to get a fair deal," said Gregory.

But it is that public option that is causing the most problems. Republicans have had success in arguing that a government run option will cost taxpayers too much money.

"A government run plan will ultimately force private insurers out of business," said Senator Chuck Grassley, (R) Iowa.

Back in Richmond, Dr. Gregory believes he has to help change those senators minds, or what Americans will be left with is something no one will be happy with.

"If we don't have that they are going to pick off the whole initiative and essentially not very much is going to happen," Gregory said.

But while the president is enlisting health care professionals to help in his fight, that does not mean all doctors and nurses are in favor of his brand of reform. The American Medical Association has been among a group of health care advocacy organizations that have expressed resistance to the public option portion of the plan.

(c) 2009. WWBT, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed