'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. myviewis

    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
    ----------------------–

    You do remember that Obamacare was born from Romneycare. Obama took a good recipe and messed it up.

    September 10, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  2. cali girl

    Truth, there are better than 40% who approve, so your 85% is coming from outer space, or Fox News, whichever is closer.
    Most will be happy with this when the insurance company won't turn you away for a pre-existing condition.
    My mother in law was diagnosed with Breast Cancer for the second time just 2 weeks ago. She has just about reached maximum payout and getting dropped. With the ACA they can not do that to her, and all her children are grateful that they will not see their mom and dad go bankrupt.
    So for all you rightys posting how it is going to ruin healthcare, there are MANY who will disagree. The little girl with genital heart disease is going to get the treatments she needs, because she isn't getting dropped and there is no maximum payout.

    September 10, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  3. Thomas

    You can't have a just and sound economy , unless you have a sound and just healthcare system .

    My Bother in law , made millions in the insurance system , he take's pride in how much he made , he spends his days at one of his three homes , or at the Olympic club hitting golfballs .

    He will be the first to tell you the system was corrupt , thats the Scam , The American way !

    Yet when his son needed substance treatment , he said it was to costly.

    Obama did something , now my brother in law needs to find a new scam !

    September 10, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  4. Margo

    Share the health...it's the 20th century shouldn't we be looking FORWARD! Change is hard the older you get so we must push on for Obamacare...Cheers to OBAMA!

    September 10, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  5. Fair is Fair

    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.
    --------
    Because the reimbursement rates for Medicare (and ACA) are so low, physicians are actually losing money for each patient in these categories. What I believe you will find is that it will be increasingly difficult to find physicians willing to take on patients with this type of reimbursement.

    September 10, 2012 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  6. mcskadittle

    I am sure seniors will be happy to be able to pay for their medicine

    September 10, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  7. lil

    Most people like Obamacare even republican, they just wont say so, because they dont want their neighbor to know. Thats the reason romney endorsed Obamacare yesterday on meet the press.

    September 10, 2012 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  8. Dave

    As a grad of this very same institution, I am ashamed. This young person has no idea he wears the Yoke of the democrat plantation. Communism is a fetid and dangerous cesspool for any medical professional to fall into.

    September 10, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  9. Khaleeshi

    Willard is now for Obamacare! Oh Dear Lord – he flip flops so much he can't even know what he's for or against anymore. Between him and Lyin Ryan you just can't trust a word that comes out of their mouth.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    September 10, 2012 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  10. ghostriter

    myviews, you may not want to tell your fellow conservatives that Obamacare came from Romneycare. They are still under the belief that the two are totally different.

    Speaking of which, can you tell us how Obamacare is different from Romneycare? They both had fees associated with them.

    September 10, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  11. Tony

    Myviewis,
    Please explain how Obama took a good recipe and messed it up. Romneycare and Obamacare are basically the same.

    September 10, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    "Because the reimbursement rates for Medicare (and ACA) are so low, physicians are actually losing money for each patient in these categories. What I believe you will find is that it will be increasingly difficult to find physicians willing to take on patients with this type of reimbursement."

    Myth is not a great foundation for policy decision-making. Of course, it's the only foundation the GOP/Teatrolls are wiling to operate on.

    September 10, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  13. Cat

    The level of ignorance you find on these comments boards can be staggering. It's especially precious when the ignorance is accompanied by really exciting numbers which the writer has pulled directly out of his own hat. (20 million people losing their doctor! Ayeeee!) Currently, Obamacare is primarily funneling people towards current insurance providers, and putting some regulations those onto providers so they can't abuse their new clients (ie, take their money while they're healthy then throw them off, etc.) It's providing subsidies to those who can't afford these new insurance policies. (Helping poor people! Nooooo! Relax, these same people are draining the system anyway with their unpaid ER bills, your tax dollar pays for them anyway. Getting them insured just makes it more cost effective to get them care). Again, relax people. When Medicare was introduced, we were nervous about its implications, worried what it would do to the country, afraid of change. We're always afraid of change. But, change is needed.

    September 10, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  14. Democrat

    Many Medical students have an Obamacare logo with it scratched out but CNN doesn't report that.

    CNN gets how much to push Obama's agenda again?

    September 10, 2012 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  15. Lionel

    Way to go Obama. This man does care unlike Robme and Lying Ryan.

    Great job Pres, go and meet the people cause that what government is for not like the Repubtards who will sell government to special lobbyist, big oil companies and billionaires.

    September 10, 2012 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  16. Democrat

    Not all change is good.

    September 10, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  17. Tony

    truth hurts,
    I am sorry to tell you this, but come November 6, the truth is really going to hurt. Romney will still have his millions to go back to, but what about you?

    September 10, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  18. Wilson

    @Sniffit

    "Because the reimbursement rates for Medicare (and ACA) are so low, physicians are actually losing money for each patient in these categories. What I believe you will find is that it will be increasingly difficult to find physicians willing to take on patients with this type of reimbursement."

    Myth is not a great foundation for policy decision-making. Of course, it's the only foundation the GOP/Teatrolls are wiling to operate on.
    ----------------------------------
    And with that statement Sniffit's credibility takes another dive. You really need to quit trying to change the facts. Just because you think if you say something often enough it will become "truth" doesn't mean it's gonna really happen that way.

    September 10, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  19. Thomas

    @myviewis
    You do remember that Obamacare was born from Romneycare. Obama took a good recipe and messed it up.

    So enlighten us on how Obama messed it up , "public option," ?

    Do you post from the office , or do you only work here during the week Myvewis ?

    September 10, 2012 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  20. Critical Thinking

    You might want to sell it to the Romney campaign so they can use as a present day version of ; "Dewey Wins!"

    September 10, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  21. rob

    Thats the first time he has mentioned his "Signature Achievement" in years. If this is supposed to be a nirvana why don't they shout about it.

    @myviewis who said "He wants to "refine" Obamacare and keep what he considers the good stuff" Romney said he would repeal Obamacare while keeping things like Pre existing conditions etc. and replace it wih a smart private based plan that is not a top down govt controlled takeover of 16% of the economy.

    This election is about the Modern Progressive Liberal transformation of America from a society that gives rights to the Govt to a society that is given rights from an all controlling Govt. or the continuation of an America that honors individual liberty for its citizens. The Dems will not come out and tell us what their ultimate goal is but they have been trying it since the days of Wodrow Wilson.

    September 10, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  22. Thomas

    @Cat
    The level of ignorance you find on these comments boards can be staggering. It's especially precious when the ignorance is accompanied by really exciting numbers which the writer has pulled directly out of his own hat. (20 million people losing their doctor! Ayeeee!) Currently, Obamacare is primarily funneling people towards current insurance providers, and putting some regulations those onto providers so they can't abuse their new clients (ie, take their money while they're healthy then throw them off, etc.) It's providing subsidies to those who can't afford these new insurance policies. (Helping poor people! Nooooo! Relax, these same people are draining the system anyway with their unpaid ER bills, your tax dollar pays for them anyway. Getting them insured just makes it more cost effective to get them care). Again, relax people. When Medicare was introduced, we were nervous about its implications, worried what it would do to the country, afraid of change. We're always afraid of change. But, change is needed.

    Thanks !

    September 10, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  23. ConcernedSNCO

    Cat:

    Outstanding comment! For all the "nuts" that don't like Obamacare, try doing some research and read the actual legislation. You might like it instead of listening to those right wing idiots.

    September 10, 2012 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
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