Abdul El-Sayed and thousands of physicians sign open-letter NYT ad endorsing Medicare for All

Abdul El-Sayed, a physician and former health director for the city of Detroit, tweeted Tuesday that he is proud to have signed a letter that was endorsed by more than 2,000 physicians who support Medicare for All.

"Too many in Detroit where I served as health director go without the care they need," El-Sayed said in a statement to Metro Times. "We can solve it. We need Medicare for All today — we needed it yesterday. But we can achieve it in a tomorrow where we stand together and for one another."

The open letter, titled "As Physicians, We Prescribe Medicare for All," was published as a full-page ad in The New York Times.

El-Sayed, a progressive Democrat who ran for governor of Michigan in 2018, endorsed presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, a proponent of Medicare for All, back in November.

“I’m honored to receive the endorsement of Abdul El-Sayed,” Sanders said in a news release at the time. “He knows we need a Medicare for All, single-payer system and a government that represents all the people – not just the insurance companies and drug companies. We will together finish what we started in 2016 and transform our country so it works for all of us.”

A full list of those who signed the letter can be found at pnhp.org/2020. The letter signed by the physicians reads as follows:

We are doctors from across the spectrum of our profession. We serve patients rich and poor, in hospitals and clinics, private offices and public agencies.

We witness daily the inhumanity and irrationality of the current health care system. America funds health care more generously than any other nation, and our hospitals and medical workforce are second to none. Yet despite an abundance of medical resources, care it too often meager.

For the thirty million who remain uninsured and millions more whose insurance is inadequate to their needs, life-saving treatment is often out of reach, deepening health disparities. Oppressive costs and the fear of financial ruin amplify the suffering of illness. Meanwhile, doctors and nurses struggle to provide good care in a bad system, and waste countless hours complying with arcane billing requirements and, along with our patients, imploring insurers to fulfill their promises of coverage.

It is time to transform the way we pay for care — to embrace improved Medicare for All.

Medicare for All would curb soaring drug prices and dismantle the wasteful bureaucracy of private insurance companies, freeing up hundreds of billions of dollars to expand and improve care — while ensuring free choice of doctor and hospital. Vested interests who profit from the current broken system raise false alarms of dislocation and disruption to incite fear and change. They are wrong. Improved Medicare for All would bring welcome relief to patients, lower costs to families and communities, and allow doctors and nurses to focus on what matters most: caring for our patients.

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