FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 11, 2018
CONTACT: Ben Gardner, email@example.com
Michigan ER doc to congressman: ‘Shadow me for a shift’ to see why patients need healthcare for all
SPRING LAKE, Michigan — Rob Davidson, an emergency physician running for the Second Congressional District in West Michigan, has been using social media this week to appeal to his congressman to support healthcare for all — and to shadow him incognito on an overnight shift to see the real-world challenges patients who visit his rural hospital ER face. Davidson’s three brief videos, shot after an overnight shift during a four-day stretch this week, have been viewed more than 500,000 times since Saturday. National politics and news site NowThis Politics created a compilation of Davidson’s video that it posted Tuesday night on Facebook.
In a 2-minute self-shot video Tuesday morning after an overnight 8-hour shift, Davidson says: “I just finished four nights and I’ve gone from everything from people trying to kill themselves with an overdose to an individual with a $10,000 deductible trying to negotiate not getting tests that I thought she needed to another individual who just happened to have the wrong Medicaid who couldn’t find a doctor in her town and, at three bucks a gallon for gas and unreliable transportation, she can’t get to town on a regular basis. This is the problem. This is what people deal with. This is why healthcare in this country needs to be fixed. This is why, frankly, we need Medicare for all.”
In the video, Davidson challenges Congressman Bill Huizenga to debate him on healthcare, hold an in-district town hall or follow him privately during one of Davidson’s shift so Huizenga can see for himself how ordinary Michiganders struggle with costly healthcare.
In an earlier video made after a Friday-Saturday shift, Davidson says: “This is healthcare in this country, Congressman Huizenga, despite the fact that you think people should sell their satellite dishes to pay for their healthcare, that isn’t the reality. You need to get back to your district and talk to your constituents.”
Davidson said Sunday that in a private meeting with Huizenga at North Ottawa Community Hospital in Grand Haven on March 6, 2017, the congressman said people should decide whether to spend their money on healthcare or satellite dishes, a variation of an infamous and much maligned analogy made by now-retired U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz in March 2017 when he chastised low-income Americans for buying new iPhones instead of paying for healthcare.
A 20-year veteran of the emergency room, Davidson is running against Rep. Bill Huizenga, a four-term incumbent, in a district whose residents include Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and her family. Davidson is challenging Huizenga for the sprawling district that includes the Lake Michigan shoreline from Holland north through Muskegon and into Ludington and the inland rural Lake and Newaygo counties, as well as the densely populated western suburbs of Kent County. Davidson lives in Spring Lake in Ottawa County and his only previous election experience is for the Spring Lake Public Schools board, where he is a trustee. He is married to Diana Flynn Davidson, a family physician, and the couple has three children.