Survivor, M.D.

This guy says doctors will leave the profession in droves rather than face underpayment. That, in fact they might not even be able to survive under Obama-care.

One reason that many physicians are skeptical of the proposed “reform” is because they already know what government-run health care is like, in the form of Medicare. Medicare is “single-payer health care” for the elderly. Many proponents of universal health care want to create “Medicare for all,” claiming that it’s a model of efficient, compassionate care. But as the New York Times recently reported, more doctors are opting out of Medicare (or limiting the number of Medicare patients they are willing to accept) for two simple reasons: “reimbursement rates are too low and paperwork too much of a hassle.”

Medicare reimbursements are so low that many physicians could not survive  if they relied solely on Medicare patients. Their patients with private insurance essentially subsidize their Medicare patients. Every time Congress passes another round of Medicare cuts, it merely worsens the problem as more doctors stop accepting new Medicare patients.

 But then there’s this article . Especially this info:

According to a 2007 study by McKinsey&Company, physician compensation bumps up health care spending in America by $58 billion annually on average, because U.S. doctors make twice as much as their OECD peers. And even the poorest in specializations like radiology and surgery routinely rake in around $400,000 annually.

Doctors–and many Republicans–constantly carp about the costs of “defensive medicine” because it forces providers to perform unnecessary procedures and tests to insulate them from potential lawsuits. But excessive physician salaries contribute nearly three times more to wasteful health care spending than the $20 billion or so that defensive medicine does. “While the U.S. malpractice system is extraordinary,” the study notes, “it is only a small contributor to the higher cost of health care in the United States.”

I dunno. The doctors I run into seem to be doing really well for themselves. I think it’s a legitimate question to ask if it’s just the marketplace at work or some manipulation may be going on. Is the AMA “a doctors’ cartel that has controlled the medical labor market in the U.S. like its personal fiefdom for a century” or not?

Like I said, dunno.


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