Health Care Reform: About Doctors

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

My last post focused on jobs generally. Now, what about Doctors? Everyone wants to know about doctors because it’s already tough to get a doctor if you’re on Medicaid or Medicare.

According to the New England Journal of Medicine, it’s going to get worse:

Physician Support of Health Reform in General
• 62.7% of physicians feel that health reform is needed but should be implemented in a more targeted, gradual way, as opposed to the sweeping overhaul that is in legislation. [NOTE: I think this reflects the American public, too. No one is saying to do nothing. This bill is just not the “something” that needs to be done.]
• 28.7% of physicians are in favor of a public option.
• 3.6% of physicians prefer the “status quo” and feel that the U.S. health care system is best “as is.

Health Reform and Primary Care Physicians
• 46.3% of primary care physicians (family medicine and internal medicine) feel that the passing of health reform will either force them out of medicine or make them want to leave medicine.

Health Reform, Public Option, and Practice Revenue/Physician Income
• 41% of physicians feel that income and practice revenue will “decline or worsen dramatically” with a public option.
• 30% feel income will “decline or worsen somewhat” with a public option.
• 9% feel income will “improve somewhat” with a public option, and 0.8% feel income will “improve dramatically” with a public option.

Health Reform, Public Option, and Physician Supply
• 72% of physicians feel that a public option would have a negative impact on physician supply, with 45% feeling it will “decline or worsen dramatically” and 27% predicting it will “decline or worsen somewhat. [NOTE: This is the part that is most concerning. What will then happen is that the United States will recruit less-qualified drones to fill the jobs. As the role of physician becomes commoditized, the person seeking that job will change.]
• 24% of physicians think they will try to retire early if a public option is implemented.
• 21% of physicians would try to leave medicine if a public option is implemented, even if not near retirement age at the time.

Health Reform and Recommending Medicine to Others as a Career
• 36% of physicians would not recommend medicine as a career, regardless of health reform.
• 27% would recommend medicine as a career but not if health reform passes.
• 25% of physicians would recommend medicine as a career regardless of health reform.
• 12% would not recommend medicine as a career now but feel that they would recommend it as a career if health reform passes

Source: The Medicus Firm “Physician Survey: Health Reform’s Impact on Physician Supply and Quality of Medical Care,”
The Medicus Firm, www.TheMedicusFirm.com

This does NOT bode well for the future of American medicine. More importantly, it harms the care Americans will receive.

By the way, Democrats know this. This bill is NOT about health care. It’s about transitioning costs away from the unions and the ballooning aging Boomer population to the younger, healthier people.

Health care reform is a tax plan.