Pathologist Josh Gapp, MD, announces US Senate bid

August 1, 2019

Disclaimer: Vachette Pathology is highlighting Dr. Gapp’s candidacy for the US Senate in an effort to highlight pathology and health care advocates seeking federal office. The following is an introduction from Dr. Gapp to potential voters and the larger health care community. Dr. Gapp’s views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Vachette Pathology.

I, Josh Gapp, M.D., am excited to share that on July 25th, 2019, I formally announced my candidacy for the US Senate from the great state of Tennessee. Putting all politics aside, it is the awful state of medicine today that has driven me to run. The politicians and bureaucrats in Washington have ruined our once great healthcare system with no end in sight. Their continuing assault on doctors and our autonomy has become unbearable. Frankly, I’m mad as heck and I plan to do something about it.

Josh Gapp, M.D.

As a private practice pathologist and owner of an independent laboratory, I vividly remember the feeling on November 1st, 2012 when I saw the “Statline Special Alert” from the College of American Pathologists in my inbox announcing CMS’s 52% cut to the 88305. What a punch to the gut. I lived through the chaos that became my practice. My family endured as we significantly cut back our lifestyle to afford the new normal. In many ways, I think pathology still has not recovered from that eventful day. It decimated our specialty, and we are worse off as a healthcare system today because of it.

I have been a member of the medical community for almost two decades, and I grew up around medicine almost my entire life. I have personally witnessed and felt the terrible changes that have occurred to our honorable and beloved Art. When I first entered medicine, it was a noble profession. We were healers first, second, and third. Our patients were THE only concern.

Somehow along the way, this has been stolen from us. While we were busy saving and enriching our patients’ lives; politicians, bureaucrats, insurance companies, and big money special interest groups crept their hands into the cookie jar. And now there is nothing left. They have taken our autonomy, they have taken our pride, they have taken our labors, they have taken from our pocketbooks, but worst they have taken away our ability to treat our patients with the compassion, time, and care our patients need and deserve.

Physician burnout is real. Just about every physician I know is worse off today than they were 5 and 10 years ago. Many are struggling while working dramatically more hours and making less. Our costs keep going up, yet our reimbursements are down. I fear our system is teetering on the verge of collapse as the baby boomers exit the workforce and begin the high healthcare utilization phase of their lives.

I am not a politician. I am a legitimate outsider who has never previously sought or held public office. Much like the bonds made during battle, the personal sacrifice medicine extracts from physicians can only truly be understood by other physicians who have endured those same sacrifices themselves. I understand in my bones what it means to be a doctor in today’s America.

To my fellow doctors: In the US Senate, I will fight for you every day like none other has ever fought for you before. I will fight Medicare’s mission creep from one time insurer of our retirees to now bureaucratic oppressor with its thousands of pages of alphabet regulations (MIPS, MACRA, EMR, etc.) enforced by threat of fines and imprisonment to the unwary physician. I will fight to increase and return our reimbursements to a sustainable level where missing work because of a broken leg doesn’t threaten to put our practice into bankruptcy. I will fight to cut through the red tape that is stealing precious time from treating our patients. Less government interference, not more, is where the conversation needs to begin.

Being a doctor, asking for help, especially financial assistance, is difficult and uncomfortable. But, I need your help. There is a very real economic cost to running an effective campaign against deep pocketed, privileged elite insiders and career politicians. Building a campaign staff and buying audio, print, and video ad space will cost $3 to $4 million. Meanwhile, the FEC limits individual donations to $2,800 per person. So, we need to spread the word to as many supporters as possible. Please stand with me. 

The two most important ways you can help today:

1.      Donate, donate, and donate! Donate now by going to:

Big or small, every contribution helps. 

2.      Forward this message to as many physicians and frontline healthcare providers you know. This message is important.

Thank you for all that you do. I look forward to being your champion in the US Senate. 

Warm personal regards,

Josh Gapp, M.D.

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