News Release: School of Medicine

Oct. 5,  2009

Emory Faculty Member at the White House for Health Care Reform

News Article ImageGrady Memorial Hospital, where Dr. Schneider sees patients. Many Grady patients are uninsured.

As the debate about healthcare reform takes center stage in the nation's capital, President Barack Obama has invited a group of doctors to the White House to raise their voices for change.

The doctors are members of the advocacy group Doctors for America - a grassroots coalition of doctors from across the nation speaking up to ensure effective and comprehensive healthcare reform. Among them is Jason S. Schneider, MD, of Emory University School of Medicine. The assistant professor in the division of general medicine was selected as the Georgia representative. Today practicing doctors, representing each of the 50 states, will stand and tell the nation that America deserves a better health system, one they're prepared to fight for, says Schneider.

"It is critical to get physicians engaged in healthcare reform," says Schneider, who sees patients at Grady Memorial Hospital. "We are on the front lines and know first hand the current system is broken and in desperate need of transformation. Comprehensive health care reform can no longer wait."

Rapidly escalating health care costs are straining family, business and government budgets. In 2007, the United States spent approximately $2.2 trillion on health care or $7,421 per person - nearly twice the average of other developed nations. An estimated 47 million Americans are uninsured. Each day 14,000 lose their insurance.

"Health reform is a moral issue for me," notes Schneider. "I believe in an America where its citizens don't have to choose among feeding their family, paying their rent or mortgage, or getting appropriate health care. Reform must happen now to ensure that everyone is covered."

Based at Grady Memorial Hospital, the only level-one trauma center in metro Atlanta and the largest public hospital in the southeastern region, Schneider stands where politics and the heart wrenching, real life effects of healthcare reform intersect. The 35-year-old physician-teacher estimates that about half of the patients he sees at Grady don't have health insurance.

"Every day at Grady, Emory and Morehouse physicians and students at Grady work hard to provide excellent care to a group of people whose voices is not being heard in this debate: those unable to afford health insurance. I will be representing their voices today."

The President's 2010 Budget lays the groundwork for reform of the American health care system, most notably by setting aside a deficit-neutral reserve fund of $635 billion over 10 years to help finance reform of our health care system to bring down costs, expand coverage and improve quality, explains Schneider.

A Senate committee is expected to resume debate on the latest version of President Obama's health care plans beginning later this week and the full Senate is expected to take up the bill within weeks. In the meantime, Schneider wants to urge the President not to give up on the idea a public option.

"Having the choice of a low-cost public option for health insurance coverage is vital to taking care of the uninsured, especially for places like Grady," says Schneider. "The people in this country hurting the most are the ones who need health care reform urgently."

Schneider serves as associate program director for the J. Willis Hurst Internal Medicine Residency Program at Emory. His clinical and academic interests include sexual health and sexuality, the interaction of psychiatry and general medicine, and primary care for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) patients. Schneider served on the Board of Directors of the Gay & Lesbian Medical Association for over nine years and is the immediate past president. He also represents the interests of the LGBT community on the Health Disparities Subcommittee, Advisory Committee to the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 


The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focused on missions of teaching, research, health care and public service. Its components include schools of medicine, nursing, and public health; Yerkes National Primate Research Center; the Emory Winship Cancer Institute; and Emory Healthcare, the largest, most comprehensive health system in Georgia. The Woodruff Health Sciences Center has a $2.3 billion budget, 17,000 employees, 2,300 full-time and 1,900 affiliated faculty, 4,300 students and trainees, and a $4.9 billion economic impact on metro Atlanta.

Learn more about Emory’s health sciences:
Twitter: @emoryhealthsci

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