Hospital helps patients vote by absentee ballots

Hospital patients get to vote too, thanks to volunteers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles who help them file absentee ballots, UPI reported. Patients often wind up in the hospital suddenly or have an illness that prevents them from obtaining an absentee ballot, according to the article.

With healthcare being a major issue in the presidential election, the Cedars-Sinai volunteers will help those experiencing the U.S. healthcare system first-hand exercise their right to vote.

Acknowledging patient wishes to have "their voices heard and their votes counted," more than 25 hospital volunteers will visit hundreds of patients Nov. 5 and hand out applications required for absentee balloting. After bringing the forms to the county's Registrar-Recorder's Office, the volunteers will then deliver the ballots to patients on election day, collect them and take them to the nearest polling place to be counted, the article noted.

Physician votes also may play an important part in the 2012 election. An October poll of 4,681 U.S. physicians found hospital-affiliated physicians will vote for President Obama, while solo practitioners will vote for former Gov. Romney, the Washington Times recently reported.

"U.S. physicians have a lot invested in the direction taken in the next administration," said Stephen Smith, spokesman for medical research database MDLinx, which conducted the poll, the article noted.

However, no matter who's living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue next year, health reform-inspired initiatives already underway, such as accountable care organizations, medical home models and health IT programs, will proceed as planned, as many experts have told FierceHealthcare.

To learn more:
- read the UPI article
- here's the Washington Times article