'Go Obamacare,' Obama signs on med student's lab coat
September 10th, 2012
01:03 PM ET
2 years ago

'Go Obamacare,' Obama signs on med student's lab coat

(CNN) – There is one University of Iowa medical student with a lab coat unlike anyone else's in his class.

At a rally on campus Friday, it was signed by President Barack Obama. But the president did not only inscribe his name.

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"Go Obamacare!" he penned on the coat of Shadee Giurgius, a first year medical student there.

After trying unsuccessfully to get tickets into a campaign event on the campus headlined by both Obama and Vice President Joe Biden the day after the Democratic National Convention, Giurgius said he eventually landed the tickets unexpectedly on Thursday.

"We were at a TPain concert on campus and this lady comes up to us, 'Hey, I'm on the White House staff, you guys want to go see Obama?'" he told CNN.

Those tickets not only got him into the event, but close enough that when Obama and his wife, first lady Michelle Obama, were shaking hands with the crowd, Giurgius landed the unique autograph.

Photos of the inscribed coat were posted online and the official Twitter account of Obama's campaign posted a link.

"An Iowa med student had a front row spot for the President's speech yesterday-and then this happened," the tweet read.

Obama won the Iowa caucuses in 2008, and in his stump speech on Friday, he touted some provisions of the 2011 Affordable Care Act and criticized Republicans over their opposition to the law.

"The change that started here in Iowa, the change that started here in Iowa City - you were the change," he said. "You're the reason that students right here at the University of Iowa are going to be able to graduate college with the security of knowing that you can stay on your parent's health insurance plan."

Obama charged the plan of GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney would "eliminate health insurance for millions of Americans who are poor or elderly or disabled, just so those with the most can pay less."

The word "Obamacare" was initially coined by Republicans as a criticism of Obama's health reform efforts, although the president has come to embrace it, saying at rallies - such as one on Saturday in Florida, " I do care. So I like the term Obamacare."

Giurgius described himself as a supporter of the president this year and said he supported Obama in 2008, too. His is three weeks into his first year of medical school and studying to be a geriatric psychiatrist.

Obama signed the lab coat Giurgius received at a white coat ceremony earlier this year, and the president's autograph appears above the University of Iowa, Carver College of Medicine logo on the right breast.

Giurgius' interest in politics began as he founded a non-profit focused on young people's awareness of Alzheimer's and other aging issues in 2005 while in college in Los Angeles, he said in a telephone interview.

Giurgius said the health reform law has "affected me personally," citing the provision which would allow some young people to stay on their parents' health coverage to age 26. He also pointed to the law's handling of the prescription drug donut hole and preexisting conditions provision.

"I'm going to have to read up about it and know everything after this Obama signature," he said.

As for the lab coat, Giurgius isn't entirely sure what he'll do with it.

"That was the question of the night," he said of Friday, after Obama's visit. "Are we going to get a new coat? Are we going to wear that one?" Taking into account patients' potential varied reactions, he considered "cover(ing) it up."

"People are telling me to frame it, of course," he added. "I kind of want to wear it. If it's allowed, I'll wear it."


Filed under: 2012 • Healthcare • Iowa • President Obama
soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    The word "Obamacare" was initially coined by Republicans as a criticism of Obama's health reform efforts, although the president has come to embrace it, saying at rallies – such as one on Saturday in Florida, " I do care. So I like the term Obamacare."
    -------------------------------------------------
    Obama DOES care!!!

    September 10, 2012 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  2. truth hurts

    oh don't you worry... obamacare is going in january! along with obama. four more years of the obama scam and the country is toast. wake up america before it is too late.

    September 10, 2012 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  3. HOLY TIGHTY WHITIES WILLARD

    Awesome! He needs to frame it. That lab coat is going to be worth some money in the future. On another note, I love how the President uses "Obamacare" against republicans. They made the term up and he's ran with it. I work in the healthcare field and many of my patients LOVE the provision of the law allowing their children to stay on their policies up until 26. My personal favorite is no more denials for pre-existing conditions.

    September 10, 2012 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  4. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    One of my disappointments with the law was to have funding for more people to become some level of medical professional. We need more doctors and nurses of all kinds. This also goes for pharmecists and nurse practicitioners among other things. Overall, I like the law, but there could have been more things done.

    September 10, 2012 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  5. jen

    So jealous, bet he will not wash that coat. I would treasure it for ever. At least he has four more years to look at it for inspiration while our president continue to look out for our students and poor people. Cant wait for Romney and his ilke to climb back on their million boats and sail out into horizon and stay there.

    September 10, 2012 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  6. myviewis

    What do kids in college know, understand about Obamacare, they haven't even began to pay their own bills.

    September 10, 2012 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  7. FedUp

    My Dr. is dreading the day Obamacare is enacted. Says it costs her every time a Medicare patient comes into the office now. She is thinking of retiring so she doesn't go bankrupt under Obamacare.

    September 10, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  8. truth hurts

    anybody care to guess how many millions of people will be losing the healthcare and doctors they currently have because of obamacare? i believe the last cbo estimate was 20 million. have they upped it with their latest review when they said the costs of obamacare were already triple the amount we were told it would cost.

    September 10, 2012 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  9. Babyboomer

    I'm glad the President has embraced the term "Obamacare". Sometimes that's exactly how you take power back. Over the weekend he even made a joke about birth certificates. Like he said during his convention speech "HE IS THE PRESIDENT." Simply the best thing he could have ever said. Obama/Biden 2012

    September 10, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  10. real deal

    too bad this med student has no idea how difficult it is going to be for him to find a job when he graduates. Obama's plan to curb the cost of healthcare involves cutting payments to physicians and hospitals. Geriatric psychiatry will not be reimbursed well enough by Medicare to keep an office open, much less pay off his med school debt.

    September 10, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    "oh don't you worry... obamacare is going in january! along with obama. four more years of the obama scam and the country is toast. wake up america before it is too late."

    OH NO!!!! YOU BETTER MOVE OUT OF THE COUNTRY QUICK!!!!

    September 10, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  12. greg

    I do not want a doctor who only cares about money. I want one who care about their patients health, which is what their oath is all about. So good ridance to the money grinning "doctors".

    September 10, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  13. GI Joe

    It's a work in progress. It can be amended. No need to scrap it. Change it. Nothing is perfect the first time. Not the first man/woman, not the first car, not the first airplane, not the first shot toward the moon. NOTHIng.

    Educate the needed doctors and nurses, make changes as needed, and build on the strong foundation.

    September 10, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  14. HOLY TIGHTY WHITIES WILLARD

    My Dr. is dreading the day Obamacare is enacted. Says it costs her every time a Medicare patient comes into the office now. She is thinking of retiring so she doesn't go bankrupt under Obamacare.
    -----------------------------------------------–
    Your doctor isn't too bright. Under the Affordable Care Act, she'll be getting MORE patients. Therefore she'll be getting reimbursed MORE. Unless she's conducting fraud by doing unneccessary procedures, then she has nothing to worry about. This is the point. It's the QUALITY of care, not the QUANTITY. Trying to explain health insurance policy to someone who didn't go to school for it is futile. Your doctor is just what she is: A doctor! She didn't go to school for medical billing and coding or medical administration. If she runs her own practice, then she needs to fire whoever runs her billing department.

    September 10, 2012 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  15. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Like he said during his convention speech "HE IS THE PRESIDENT." Simply the best thing he could have ever said.
    -------------------------------------------------
    Definitely my favorite convention moment!
    The house erupted with thunderous and extended applause when he made that statement!
    Obama 2012. Period.

    September 10, 2012 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  16. GI Joe

    I get so sick of the gloom and doom and naysayers.

    If you don't like this country, get the heck out. You're not part of the solution - you're the problem.

    September 10, 2012 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  17. just sayin

    >greg - I do not want a doctor who only cares about money. I want one who care about
    >their patients health, which is what their oath is all about. So good ridance to the money grinning "doctors".

    remember these words when you can't find any doctors to help you after obamacare desimates the healthcare in this country.

    September 10, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  18. Namejkane sfl a vote for the gop will cut your moms medicare and soc sec .can you afford to pay for them???

    Romney the tax cheat and lyin Ryan are hoof down the toilet already ,we want Obama care and Obama ,four more years !!

    September 10, 2012 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  19. Tree

    Obama 2012............i am so pride of him. I know he cares. Here is a man that could of went to wall street , anywhere to make big money but he did not. That speaks values.....

    September 10, 2012 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  20. Joan in MS

    Our great President will go down in history as one of the best presidents ever! The election will be a landslide by November 6th. Monuments, landmarks, and schools will be named for him! And, there is still room on Mount Rushmore for the greatest ever!! Go Obamacare! and Go Obama/Biden 2012!!

    September 10, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  21. The GOP Voucher Plan will include a "Legalize Euthanasia" clause and a free gun to commit suicide

    The seniors will need it when their health care dollars run out.

    September 10, 2012 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  22. truth hurts

    85% of the American people are happy with their healthcare. If Obama and the lefties didn't like it why don't they all move to Cuba and enjoy Fidel's wonderful healthcare system?

    So with Obamacare we end up with a dessimated healthcare system, trillions more in taxes, huge government healthcare costs and still 30 million people without healthcare. yeah, sounds great. A disaster movie only a leftist Democrat could write.

    September 10, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  23. Ken

    truth hurts
    "oh don't you worry... obamacare is going in january! along with obama"

    Hey! Didn't you hear Romney say just yesterday that he is NOT scrapping Obamacare?? (Meet the Press)
    He wants to "refine" Obamacare and keep what he considers the good stuff.

    That's your man Willard who flipfloped agaain who said that! He must really like it!!
    In your face, Teaparty

    September 10, 2012 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  24. myviewis

    HOLY TIGHTY WHITIES WILLARD
    Under the Affordable Care Act, she'll be getting MORE patients. Therefore she'll be getting reimbursed MORE.

    This is the point. It's the QUALITY of care, not the QUANTITY. Trying to explain health insurance policy to someone who didn't go to school for it is futile
    --------------------------

    Okay, I'll bite, how do you get QUALITY under lower rates, bottom rates???????

    September 10, 2012 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  25. RealityBites

    Backroom dirty deals that trash the US econmy are held in the highest of esteem, for dems.
    Anything from this president will do at this miserable point in US history...

    September 10, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
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