So Close to the Policy!!

Through my internship I was lucky enough to get inside Capitol Hill and attend a meeting about the Affordable Care Act and its effect on the Patient/Provider Relationship. It was fascinating that I was able to attend something that really focuses on my interests. The meeting was divided by two sides (Democrats and Republicans, of course). Additionally, there was a panel of doctors speaking on the matter. Albeit interesting, the meetings was controlled by the Republican party. On the Republican side there were about 20 representatives (all former MDs) and the Democratic side had 2 people who were not doctors. The language used during the meeting was also very interesting. The Democrats would refer to its proper name, the Affordable Care Act, while the Republicans would refer to it as Obamacare. Many people use the term Obamacare, but do not realize the negative connotation that has on the Act. It was frustrating as an audience member that the questions were so loaded. The Republican side would ask the panel of doctors specific questions that warranted very specific answers. Therefore, the Republicans were able to make it seem like the Affordable Care Act was a travesty. Looking around I noticed the dismay of the audience who probably wanted to ask their own questions in order to get more realistic responses. Only one panel member approved the Affordable Care Act and the Republicans literally tore him to shreds throughout the meeting. It was honestly a sad sight to see. Most of the panel members discussed how the Affordable Care Act would ruin the doctor/patient relationship. However, it was very interesting that these doctors were more into specialties (plastic surgery, anesthesiology). These doctors would not really be seeing patients who fell under the Affordable Care Act so it was interesting to see why they were so against it. Although the meeting was full of harsh statements and loaded propositions (and even more unanswered questions) it was a great opportunity to have. This just reminds me how lucky I am to be in Washington DC and so close to Health Policy!

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