New England Journal of Medicine urges physicians to weigh in on Obamacare

October 8, 2013

The New England Journal of Medicine has weighed in on the federal government shutdown and the controversy over the Affordable Care Act (ACA), otherwise known as Obamacare.

Editor-in-Chief Jeffrey M. Drazen, MD, and Executive Editor Gregory D. Curfman, MD, wrote an editorial October 4 in the journal urging physicians to contact Congress and tell their elected representatives their views on the ACA.

“As health care professionals, we are very close to the issues that have our government in shutdown,” Drazen and Curfman write. “We must lead by example. The well-being of our patients depends on it. Let your representative know that you are in the health business and where you stand.”

The journal itself does not have an official position on whether the ACA is good or bad for the U.S. healthcare system. But Drazen and Curfman say supporting the law “makes moral and medical sense.”

“All of us will need medical attention at some point in our lives,” the editorial reads. “When that point comes, we should not have to worry about whether we can pay for it.”

The federal government has been on partial shutdown for more than a week as Congress battles over the ACA. A faction of Republican legislators want delays and changes to the ACA in exchange for funding the government, while the White House and Democrats in Congress say they will not use the healthcare law as a bargaining chip for passage of a routine budget resolution.