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Public Statements

National Day Of Recognition For Long-term Care Physicians

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. GRIFFITH. Madam Speaker, the long-term care physicians of America are unsung heroes. Many of you have never seen them, many of you have never met one, but yet they work with some of the most difficult patients in the world.

Imagine, if you will, walking into a room of 20 or 30 Alzheimer's patients, walking into a room of 20 to 30 young men or women with closed-head injuries who will live in a vegetative state for 20 to 30 years. Imagine, if you will, a physician who has three to four nursing homes to take care of, patients on five and six medications. Very, very difficult medicine and very, very hard to find these individuals. Less than 2 percent of our medical school classes are going into primary care; 35 percent of our physicians are trained overseas.

The health care bill that is being proposed for America today is going to accentuate the physician shortage. We will have a very difficult time finding long-term care physicians. We have a hard time even today having people be seen who have Medicare coverage but still no access, Medicaid coverage but still no access. And our long-term physicians, long-term care physicians who are unsung and our heroes in medicine will become a fewer and fewer number under this present bill. We are very concerned about that. Because of that, we have voiced our opposition, but we are proud to sponsor this resolution.

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