A Majority of Doctors Support National Health Care

Frankly, this is a little difficult to swallow. US doctors have traditionally opposed universal health care in favour of unfettered ability to make money (aka, unrestrained greed), and one wonders what has prompted the change of heart.

Richard Jehn / The Rag Blog

US doctors support universal health care – survey

WASHINGTON — More than half of U.S. doctors now favor switching to a national health care plan and fewer than a third oppose the idea, according to a survey published on Monday.

The survey suggests that opinions have changed substantially since the last survey in 2002 and as the country debates serious changes to the health care system.

Of more than 2,000 doctors surveyed, 59 percent said they support legislation to establish a national health insurance program, while 32 percent said they opposed it, researchers reported in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

The 2002 survey found that 49 percent of physicians supported national health insurance and 40 percent opposed it.

“Many claim to speak for physicians and represent their views. We asked doctors directly and found that, contrary to conventional wisdom, most doctors support national health insurance,” said Dr. Aaron Carroll of the Indiana University School of Medicine, who led the study.

“As doctors, we find that our patients suffer because of increasing deductibles, co-payments, and restrictions on patient care,” said Dr. Ronald Ackermann, who worked on the study with Carroll. “More and more, physicians are turning to national health insurance as a solution to this problem.”


The United States has no single organized health care system. Instead it relies on a patchwork of insurance provided by the federal and state governments to the elderly, poor, disabled and to some children, along with private insurance and employer-sponsored plans.

Many other countries have national plans, including Britain, France and Canada, and several studies have shown the United States spends more per capita on health care, without achieving better results for patients.

An estimated 47 million people have no insurance coverage at all, meaning they must pay out of their pockets for health care or skip it.

Contenders in the election for president in November all have proposed various changes, but none of the major party candidates has called for a fully national health plan.

Insurance companies, retailers and other employers have joined forces with unions and other interest groups to propose their own plans.

“Across the board, more physicians feel that our fragmented and for-profit insurance system is obstructing good patient care, and a majority now support national insurance as the remedy,” Ackermann said in a statement.

The Indiana survey found that 83 percent of psychiatrists, 69 percent of emergency medicine specialists, 65 percent of pediatricians, 64 percent of internists, 60 percent of family physicians and 55 percent of general surgeons favor a national health insurance plan.

The researchers said they believe the survey was representative of the 800,000 U.S. medical doctors. (Reporting by Maggie Fox; Editing by Will Dunham and Xavier Briand)

Source / Reuters / March 31, 2008

The Rag Blog

They have enough control now not to worry.
Sickness care will only pay for invasive techniques.

To be defined as a drug by FDA, first you must prove harm.

In the beginning this made sense. If something was harmful, but useful, only a doctor could prescribe it, too dangerous for amateurs to just use.

Now, even if you can prove substances have health benefits, if they cannot be proven to kill half the cats, mice, and rats in the study, you cannot get them approved.

I have studied this the last dozen years, and sadly it is true.

We will not have health care but sickness care.

Janet Gilles / The Rag Blog

Based on my conversations with many young docs, Richard, insurance companies are to them the enemy. They don’t believe they are allowed to practice medicine any more.

They have to hire individuals who do nothing but wrangle insurance paperwork. My daughter did it for a while and it used to be ungodly complicated. During the Clinton I administration, the feds honchoed a standardization of paperwork that helped a little.

Still, an honest doc has to have one conversation with a patient and a different one with the insurance company. That does not feel honest, but it is in the patient’s best interests.

In addition to viewing the insurance companies as the enemy, the new docs have not been so effectively taught that all socialist institutions are evil. They know, for example, that it’s necessary and in everybody’s interest to share the cost of an MRI machine. But isn’t that what socialists do?

The doctors running things now lack red-baiting DNA and are sick and tired of being told by insurance companies what they can do for their patients.

Steve Russell / The Rag Blog

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