Wednesday, September 16, 2009

So How Do You Provide Health Care WIthout Health Care Providers?

4 of 9 doctors say they would quit. Investors.com - 45% Of Doctors Would Consider Quitting If Congress Passes Health Care Overhaul Some interesting highlights.
  • 65% of doctors oppose government-run health care. (NPR and LA Times notwithstanding.)
  • The AMA - oft referenced by the liberal media - represents about 18% of doctors.
  • 45% of doctors would take early retirement or leave practice. That would be 320,000 fewer docs out of the 800,000 or so in 2006.
  • 71% of doctors don't believe that the government can increase coverage, cut costs and improve care.

Then there are the various states that have some level of health-care-reform.
In 2006, Massachusetts passed its medical overhaul — minus a public option — similar to what's being proposed on a national scale now. It hasn't worked as expected. Costs are higher, with insurance premiums rising 22% faster than in the U.S. as a whole.

"Health spending in Massachusetts is higher than the United States on average and is growing at a faster rate," according to a recent report from the Urban Institute.

Other states with government-run or mandated health insurance systems, including Maine, Tennessee and Hawaii, have been forced to cut back services and coverage.
So why will it work out better this time?

And the UK, which has been practicing socialized medicine for some time, has discovered that no one wants to be a doctor under the conditions they have set up.
In Britain, a lack of practicing physicians means the country has had to import thousands of foreign doctors to care for patients in the National Health Service.

"A third of (British) primary care trusts are flying in (general practitioners) from as far away as Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Hungary, Italy and Switzerland" because of a doctor shortage, a recent story in the British Daily Mail noted.

British doctors, demoralized by long hours and burdensome rules, simply refuse to see patients at nights and weekends.
Canadian doctors have been leaving Canada in droves as well. Of course at some point there will be no where to go.

If you try to hold down costs by limiting physician income, eventually people will say "enough." You have to be able to make a living, and insisting people work 70 hours a week, doesn't work in the long run. But then the Washington, DC politicrats only work 3 days a week. (I forget, is 7 or 8 months of the year?) I don't think they will see this problem either.

So why will the federal program work, when the state programs haven't? [Hat tip to Michelle M.]

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