Dr. Rogers Hopes to Bring Unique Perspective to Congress

As the debate over the Affordable Care Act continues, it’s important to point out that only 20 members of the current Congress are physicians. While being a doctor is not a prerequisite for individuals to be able to make decisions concerning healthcare reform, the opinions of those who do practice medicine should be valued in Congress.

However, when we look at the current partisan makeup of those physicians, one has to question whether both sides are being equally represented in this debate. Of the 20 doctors in Congress, 16 are Republicans and 4 are Democrats. In fact, there is actually a GOP Doctor’s Caucus that has the primary agenda of repealing Obamacare.

Hoping to add to the ranks of Democratic physicians in 2014 is Dr. Lee Rogers. According to his campaign website biography, Dr. Rogers is a longtime outspoken advocate for the protection of patient rights and healthcare reform. He is a nationally known and well respected doctor specializing in podiatry at Sherman Oaks Hospital in Los Angeles, where he is the Medical Director at the Amputation Prevention Center. On a day to day basis, he helps save people from losing limbs primarily of complications from diabetes. As a leader in this field, Dr. Rogers authored over 100 scientific papers, articles, and book chapters and was the winner of several prestigious medical awards.

Dr. Rogers will bring a practical approach to discussions about healthcare reform with him to Washington should he get elected this November. According to a guest column written by Lee for the blog Down with Tyranny, Rogers says, “As a doctor, I see the effects of health policy and health funding on Americans every day. There are several tenets of basic health policy that I believe in. I believe health care is a right, not a privilege. I believe every American should be able to choose their own doctor or other heath care provider. I believe insurance portability, allowing you to take your same insurance from job to job, is important. I believe discrimination for pre-existing conditions must not be allowed.”

Lee also understands that the current healthcare debate and the current economic situation in America are related. In the column, he points to the fact that Healthcare represents about 23% of the federal budget. “Part of the increase is because of the aging baby boomers who are requiring more care and part of it relates to the advances in medicine which are more costly,” Rogers states. “But there is something that can be done. We can intervene to prevent chronic disease, before they occur, before they become more expensive. We can invest in research to treat disease and prevent complications. We shouldn’t slash the health care budget leaving more people to seek treatment later when the diseases are more advanced and costly.”

Dr. Rogers is seeking election to the United States House of Representatives in California’s 25th District. After coming within 5 points of winning in 2012, Lee will take another shot at the now open seat after the retirement announcement from Representative Buck McKeon. Not only will Rogers be a leader on healthcare reform and protecting scientific integrity, but Lee is also committed to ensuring equality for the now 20% of Americans who do not identify with a particular religion. Rogers has received support and endorsements from many national progressive organizations, including the Center for Humanist Activism’s PAC, the Freethought Equality Fund.

In a statement accepting the endorsement from the Freethought Equality Fund, Rogers said, “I believe that everyone deserves equal representation in Congress, regardless of the color of your skin, who you love, or if you believe in a particular religion. While it is appropriate to have your decisions be guided by your own set of family values and morals, people serving in Congress should not use the tenets of any particular religious faith to make laws that affect all Americans.”

This kind of practical approach to decision making, combined with an open-minded attitude towards those that don’t agree, will serve us well in Washington. Americans are tired of the partisan gridlock that exists today and it’s long past due for our elected officials to do what’s best for the country as a whole, and not be solely captive to their own personal bias.