Thursday, July 2, 2009

Chicago doctor walks 700 miles for health care reform

Dr. Ogan Gurel
To highlight the hardships that plague the uninsured, Chicago docter Ogan Gurel is taking their stories to Washington, D.C. — on foot.

Gurel is adjunct associate professor of bioengineering/bioinformatics at the University of Illinois-Chicago, and chairman of Aesis Group, a medical consulting firm. As a self-employed consultant, the doctor, like nearly 50 million other Americans, lacks health insurance. Inspired by the 167-mile walk around Illinois that Pat Quinn (now governor of Illinois) and Physicians for a National Health Program founder Dr. Quentin Young took in August 2001 to promote health care for everyone, Gurel is on a one-man march to the nation's capital.

On Saturday, June 27, he left from Daley Plaza on a nearly 700-mile hike. He expects to arrive in Washington on July 27. En route, he plans to meet people and share their health-care stories through his blog, Facebook and Twitter.

In his walk, which Gurel says is nonpolitical, he isn't advocating any particular reform policy, he says. That's a pity, because it makes his walk less meaningful. It's clear that some kind of health-care reform will happen. Yet unless we have, at a minimum, a strong public option, it will fall far short of health care for all.

Walk for Healthcare FAQs

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