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Introducing the Mad as Hell Doctors tour, where the ‘rubber gloves meet the road’

The Oregon physician who produced the video “Health, Money and Fear,” recently featured on MinnPost, is helping to organize a “Mad as Hell Doctors” tour to Washington, D.C.

Dr. Paul Hochfeld and other members of Oregon’s Physicians for a National Health Program plan to travel in a branded motor home and may stop in the Twin Cities if there’s enough interest and support, Hochfeld says in an email to followers in Minnesota. Hochfeld said he heard from a “substantive” amount of Minnesotans after MinnPost’s story about him and his video was published. 

The doctors hope to rally national support for a single-payer health plan en route to a Sept. 8 gathering outside the White House. They say they’ve already chipped in $15,000 of their own money to hire Gary Jelinek, national 2004 campaign organizer for presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, and creative media consultant Adam Klugman.

“Every move we make along the way will be recorded on camera and then edited and uploaded to the Internet that same day,” according to their website. “This will allow our Mad as Hell Doctors Tour to leverage the edited video segments on social networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, MySpace, et al. In this way, our effort becomes an unprecedented hybrid of reality television and political activism that offers people the opportunity to follow us, in real time, as our story unfolds. The message will be unmistakable: caravan with us to Washington and help make a public demonstration of support for Single Payer Health Care that will be heard around the world.”

The motor home will include this proclamation: “This fall, the rubber gloves meet the road.” So, why are the docs hopping mad? For one, they say the health-care industry is spending $1.6 million a day on Capitol Hill during the reform debate and the single-payer option isn’t in the mix of universal coverage proposals before Congress.

“We need real reform that finds immediate savings, controls costs, and accomplishes the moral imperative of true Universal Access,” according to the website. “A Single Payer plan is the only real path to a Health Care System that is socially, ethically and fiscally responsible. And yet, our elected officials refuse to even discuss the possibility of a Single Payer plan! If that doesn’t make you mad, we recommend checking your pulse.”

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