Up till final yr, working for a significant political workplace had by no means actually crossed emergency room physician Rob Davidson’s thoughts.
“I by no means was like, ‘Hey, I need to run for Congress some day,'” Davidson stated. “I used to be fortunately a health care provider, a dad and a faculty board member, and that was going to be my biography.”
That every one modified when talks to repeal and exchange the Reasonably priced Care Act gained steam on the federal stage. When U.S. Rep. Invoice Huizenga, R-Zeeland, held a sequence of in-district city halls in early 2017, Davidson confirmed up in his scrubs, and shared tales of the struggles his sufferers have had with affording the care they want.
Issues snowballed from there, and now Davidson is working within the 2nd Congressional District Democratic major within the hopes of taking up Republican incumbent Huizenga in November. He’s one in every of a handful of medical doctors working for statewide or federal workplace this election cycle.
RELATED: MLive companions with the League of Girls Voters of Michigan to supply candidate data and different voting assets to our Michigan readers at vote411.org.
In one other west Michigan district, Dr. Matt Longjohn is hoping his background as a doctor and former Nationwide Well being Officer for the YMCA will carry him via a aggressive Democratic major within the sixth Congressional District, a seat at present held by incumbent Republican Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph.
And within the governor’s race, each the Republican and Democratic ticket embody a candidate with a medical background.
Republican Jim Hines – who’s working in opposition to Lawyer Normal Invoice Schuette, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley and state Sen. Patrick Colbeck – is a obstetrician from Saginaw who has additionally helped run medical organizations.
Democrat Abdul El-Sayed took his medical diploma to the general public sector, working Detroit’s well being division previous to changing into a gubernatorial candidate. He is now working in opposition to former state Senate Minority Chief Gretchen Whitmer and businessman Shri Thanedar within the major.
Hines says his background within the medical discipline offers him a novel perspective that may swimsuit the governor’s workplace properly.
Proudly owning a follow has given him a great thoughts for enterprise, he stated, and he has intensive expertise working with folks at a person stage.
“I’ve labored with folks at fixing issues collectively and searching on the choices of what we will do or ought to do for a difficulty, after which assist a affected person determine what’s greatest to do,” he stated. “When you consider it, that is what governors do – they uphold the regulation, however they solid a imaginative and prescient, they provide some management.”
Hines stated he believes the workplace of governor does not require intensive political expertise, however ought to be somebody with different expertise “who is ready to work with folks, is ready to learn folks and solid a imaginative and prescient and a mission.”
In relation to well being care coverage, Hines helps free market well being care, entailing competitors amongst suppliers, affected person alternative and transparency in how a lot providers and coverings would price.
El-Sayed’s expertise in medical college and the general public well being sector has knowledgeable lots of his political positions throughout the governor’s race. Throughout a latest Democratic debate, he used that have as leverage: “I am a health care provider, and in contrast to the opposite two I have been in conditions the place I’ve needed to discuss face-to-face with individuals who can’t afford well being care,” he stated.
In a later query about his views on abortion, El-Sayed referenced an expertise he had in medical college sitting with a younger lady who was making a choice on whether or not or not she wished to endure an abortion.
“I discovered then and there that is all the time a tough resolution, however it’s all the time a person resolution,” he stated.
El-Sayed’s well being care platform features a plan for a state single-payer well being care system dubbed MichCare, which he says would decrease well being care prices for Michigan residents. He is additionally expressed his need to get company cash out of the well being care system.
When Longjohn – who’s working in opposition to George Franklin, David Benac and Wealthy Eichholz – entered the sixth Congressional District Democratic major race, he stated he was doing so particularly to maintain Upton “accountable” for supporting an amended model of the American Well being Care Act, a plan to repeal the Reasonably priced Care Act.
“At that time it felt like an obligation for me to get in,” Longjohn stated on the time.
Longjohn ran neighborhood well being applications because the nationwide well being officer of the YMCA previous to stepping all the way down to give attention to his run. He has stated he is helped educate lawmakers on well being coverage in additional than a dozen states, and that his experience might assist Democrats and Republicans come to an efficient answer to the nation’s well being care wants.
Longjohn’s well being care coverage platforms embody an elevated give attention to native public well being efforts, lowering drug costs, extra assets for psychological well being and rural well being care and a long-term technique for increasing Medicare and Medicaid.
As he continues his marketing campaign within the 2nd Congressional District, Davidson continues to work shifts on the hospital.
One video Davidson shared about his expertise and his assist for a single-payer well being care system took off on Twitter, garnering greater than 500,000 views. His different well being care coverage platforms embody defending folks with pre-existing circumstances, masking basic well being care, psychological well being and substance abuse therapy and reducing prices for prescriptions.
I’m an ER doc. I simply obtained off the night time shift and that is why I assist healthcare for all. Healthcare is a proper. My opponent @RepHuizenga believes his constituents must have pores and skin within the sport and voted to chop healthcare from 20 million Individuals. So I’m working in opposition to him. pic.twitter.com/sbuuviUs1o
— Rob Davidson for Congress (@VoteRobDavidson) July 7, 2018
Davidson stated going from full-time physician to part-time candidate has been an enormous upheaval in his life, however stated he appreciates with the ability to hear from folks throughout his district about their well being care considerations and different points.
“This has been an enormous curveball – it’s very disruptive to our regular life as we knew it,” Davidson stated. “And but it is so fulfilling, win or lose…I really feel actually fortunate.”
MLive reporter Emily Lawler contributed to this report.