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Friday, July 13, 2012

Doctors Fleeing in Droves

A very long time ago I told you that doctors are leaving practice in the United States because of Obamacare. Now I have evidence. The Daily Caller (and many others) reports that 83 % of doctors have considered quitting over Obamacare. Media Matters is predictably calling this survey "comically awful" even though in my rough analysis the survey is no more poorly constructed than the average political poll by a liberally-leaning institution. And perhaps much better - it's not like any poll gets an 100% response rate, etc.

Why would doctors want to quit? If you don't remember, Obamacare de-incentivizes treating Medicaid and Medicare patients, leaving doctors with headaches of paperwork and less reimubursement than ever. Would you want to be a doctor if you could only get a little of $100k (at most) for 12-18 hour days after 7-12 years post undergraduate education and steep student loans? I wouldn't. So lots of doctors will drop their government-funded patients, leaving them fewer options for care. Meanwhile, we already face a doctor shortage and it will get worse under Obamacare because (hypothetically) more people will be insured and have to visit their physicians, thus increasing the demand for doctors. The survey forecasts a shortage of 90,000 doctors.

Here are the key findings from the survey:
  • 90% say the medical system is on the WRONG TRACK
  • 83% say they are thinking about QUITTING
  • 61% say the system challenges their ETHICS
  • 85% say the patient-physician relationship is in a TAILSPIN
  • 65% say GOVERNMENT INVOLVEMENT is most to blame for current problems
  • 72% say individual insurance mandate will NOT result in improved access care
  • 49% say they will STOP accepting Medicaid patients
  • 74% say they will STOP ACCEPTING Medicare patients, or leave Medicare completely
  • 52% say they would rather treat some Medicaid/Medicare patient for FREE
  • 57% give the AMA a FAILING GRADE representing them
  • 1 out of 3 doctors is HESITANT to voice their opinion
  • 2 out of 3 say they are JUST SQUEAKING BY OR IN THE RED financially
  • 95% say private practice is losing out to CORPORATE MEDICINE
  • 80% say DOCTORS/MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS are most likely to help solve things
  • 70% say REDUCING GOVERNMENT would be single best fix.

If you want an interpretation, AMA is the American Medical Association, who "worked" with the federal government when Obamacare was considered. Corporate medicine is large groups, such as Kaiser. I've mentioned them before. It is Very Difficult for a doctor to make it on his or her own in a private practice.

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