In my travels throughout the SE USA, I call on people that are generally somewhere around middle-class (engineers, etc) or upper middle class (owners of those companies). In almost every conversation I have, one of the biggest rationales by these against Universal Healthcare is that the good doctors will leave America or find something else to do.They fall for the meme that we have “the best healthcare in the world” and I can swear as a personal testimony that this is just a downright lie. My daughter has a sore throat and was forced to wait three days to see a doctor.
But, back to my point, I have done enough investigation to understand that by and large, this is an untrue statement (when comparing to other countries that have a similar system). Even with England (who, according to some, has a horrible system), the doctors aren’t really all that unhappy or underpaid.
But, I have asked three of my personal doctors (including an eye man) how they felt. In all three cases (and I intend to ask as many personally as I meet) they have explained that they WANT it. They understand that many of their patients wait for and/or totally go without help that could have truly benefited early on.
They understand that the problem is Insurance Companies and their stranglehold on our politicians. But now someone other than this redneck has done a poll and what does it say?
Doctors Support Universal Health Care: Survey
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
© 2008 Reuters