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Author: Subject: Poll: Most Doc's Don't Support Proposed Heath Care Reforms

Maximum Peach





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  posted on 9/17/2009 at 06:06 AM
quote:
Grim Prognosis From Doctors Opposed To Health Care Plan

By TERRY JONES, INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY
Posted 09/16/2009 07:07 PM ET


Doctor opposition to health care overhaul proposals is broad and deep, revealing concerns not just about soaring costs, declining care, possible rationing and a lack of limits on malpractice suits, but also about government competence and motives, detailed responses to a new IBD/TIPP Poll show.

As reported Wednesday, 65% of the 1,376 practicing physicians who responded to a mailed questionnaire over the last two weeks said they opposed health care plans that have emerged from the administration and Congress. Just 33% supported them.



Perhaps the most shocking result: 45% of these professionals said they would consider closing their practices or retiring early if the reforms now under consideration were enacted.

The questionnaires were sent out Aug. 28 to 25,600 doctors nationwide. The sample was purchased from a list broker, Lake Group Media of Rye, N.Y. One hundred of those responding were retired, and their answers were not included in the final results.

Our poll also invited those taking part to tell us the reasons why they didn't like the health care reforms — or, in the minority of cases, why they did. The outpouring of written responses IBD received — about 1,300 in all — was stunning.


Doctors Speak Up

Those in Washington would do well to pay attention to the 65% who don't like reforms, whom we will quote today. (Tomorrow we will give space to the minority of doctors who support reform.)

These opposing physicians' opinions will be significant for the upcoming debate over health care, since any program that's passed will depend greatly on the support of doctors.

That includes the new plan unveiled Wednesday by Sen. Max Baucus. This plan, which Baucus estimates will cost an estimated $856 billion over 10 years, includes health care "co-ops" to compete with private insurers, and will likely require large tax hikes on many Americans — including the middle class.

Given the proliferation of plans, we wondered: What is it that bothers doctors so?


21 Objections

In combing through the responses, we identified no fewer than 21 separate issues doctors felt either weren't addressed or weren't solved by proposed reforms. The issues are many, but boil down to three big categories: costs, controls and courts.

One complaint was common: Doctors feared any government reform would turn into a kind of "socialized" medicine. Some were quite blunt: "I oppose socialism in all its forms or incarnations ... government should be shrunk drastically, not expanded."

"No government 'option' or government-run program should be allowed," said another doctor. "It would ultimately lead to total government takeover of health care, with high costs and low quality."

The strong convictions of some came from a direct experience with socialism. "We came from a socialist country and we know socialized systems do not work!!!" wrote one emphatic physician.

Still others were adamant that any nationalized health care scheme — and a significant number see the plans emerging from Congress and the White House as just that — is against basic American constitutional law.

"This unconstitutional plan gives sovereignty over our bodies to unelected, unaccountable, ignorant bureaucrats," went one response along these lines. "Every governmental micromanagement of our lives has failed in its objective, and caused moral and economic bankruptcy."

But constitutional concerns were eclipsed by anger over the lack of tort reform — mentioned by hundreds of respondents. Physicians say they practice too much defensive medicine, which drives up costs, just to protect themselves from lawsuits.

The costs of this are enormous, though hard to precisely quantify. Estimates range from $100 billion to $200 billion in total added costs to both doctors and patients. Doctors in some specialties, such as neurology, pay as much as $250,000 a year for malpractice insurance.


Fear Of Lawyers

A number of our respondents used identical wording for why they didn't support health care reform: "No tort reform."

"The more lawsuits against doctors, the more testing is done," said one respondent, uttering a frequent complaint. "The government never interferes with lawyers — why? They are afraid, or they're all lawyers."

A big issue for others was efficiency. They fear government control would mean massive waste and interference with their practices. "All the efficiency of the post office, all the compassion of the motor vehicle bureau," quipped one doctor.

Another looming worry: exploding costs. With expectations that the government will spend upward of $1 trillion on reform, doctors fear the inevitable controls, including rationing, that will come to rein in costs down the road.

"A government-run plan will be too expensive and will not be effective," according to one physician. "The plan will expect doctors to take a lower fee for a given service. The private plans will follow, and outpatient medical services will be forced out of business."

This is "typical government, throwing trillions of dollars in one swoop to 'fix' the system," said another. "They need to slow down, dissect the system and fix it properly."

"There will be mandated protocols, long waits, rationing of care, infringement upon a doctor's right of conscience, abortion paid for by (tax) dollars, with eventual euthanasia and infanticide," said still another, voicing the ethical concerns of many.

The federal government's notorious lack of success in running enterprises of any size, let alone one as big and complicated as a health care system — was also cited frequently.

"Health care in the VA (Veterans' Administration) shows how well government can render care," said one. "It is disgraceful."


Gov't Can't Run Diddly

Others pointed to the troubles with government-run Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, which are all verging on insolvency and now account for an estimated $51 trillion in unfunded liabilities over the next half-century.

Government-funded rail was a favorite foil — so was the Cash for Clunkers program. The House health bill "is 1,200-plus pages of miniature and legalese," joked one eye-sore physician. "Please recall 130 pages of forms for each 'cash for clunkers' transaction!"

"Government control? Give me a break," said another. "Look what they've done to Social Security, the Post Office, the bailouts, etc. Medicare and Medicaid are not paying doctors enough, and the paperwork to participate is huge."

Other irate docs agreed: "Government has proven unable to manage many other programs, including Social Security, Medicare, and the postal service. Why do they think they can (run) a health care program?"

"Government health care will wipe out the private insurance companies," said another. "Most of the doctors in private practice will give up ... because of a low reimbursement from the government. The Medicare, Medicaid program is a good example of government-run health care."

Still others railed against what they saw as the real villains: insurance companies. Anger at insurance companies, which are now the main brake on health care costs, was plentiful.

"Between the government and insurance companies, I now only collect 28% to 30% of billed charges. No other business can function at that rate," this doctor added.

As many noted, all of the plans now being discussed would require massive tax hikes — and debt.


Foreign Experience

Many of those who opposed the plan had a unique perspective: They had practiced or lived under national health care systems in other countries.

Their comments about the experience were often scathing. To paraphrase progressive journalist Lincoln Steffens, they have seen the future — and it doesn't work.

"I trained and worked in Canada prior to coming to the U.S.," went one typical letter. "The same arguments were used in Canada to launch 'universal health care.' It is anything but universal and free."

Others had similar complaints.

"I did two years of training in Canada — disaster. When the government needed money, it decided patients with a stroke would not get a hospital bed. I had to have interns carry hemiplegic (a condition in which half a patient's body is paralyzed) patients to their families' cars."

"I am a former Canadian and I am a physician," added another. "I know a lot about government-run health care. If it's so good, then all members of Congress, the president and all federal employees should be the first to try it."


'Real Horror Stories'

Yet another: "I don't believe Congress has the requisite knowledge to know what to do with health care. After experiencing Britain's health care system firsthand, I cannot feel anything positive about government-run health care."

"I grew up and was trained in Romania," still another physician said. "At the time, it was a communist country with a socialist medical system. The system continued after the communist regime fell. I find this socialist health care system a complete disaster with real horror stories being heard every day with huge limitations in health care and huge bureaucracy."

Others argued passionately on behalf of the quality of the U.S. health care system — while admitting it has faults.

"I have firsthand experience with European and Canadian national health plans — they stink," said one physician. "My medical training was at the Mayo Clinic where people came from all over the world. Why did they come? Because we have the best (care) in the world."

That was echoed by many others who wondered why 18% of the U.S. economy needed to be put under direct government control to cover the 40-million-plus uninsured — and how we could care for millions more people, while supposedly cutting costs, without increasing the number of physicians.


More Taxes, Debt

As many noted, all of the plans now being discussed would require massive tax hikes — and debt — for little real benefit.

"It will take away consumer choice, drive up health care costs, and drive down health care quality," said one. "It will sharply increase the demand for health care providers and sharply decrease the supply as doctors like me will retire early and students will avoid the field."

"No need to overhaul the whole system," summed up one doctor. "Just find a solution to the 47 million that have no insurance."

"Unless the government uses magic tricks," argued another, "it is impossible to care for 47 million uninsured people and lower the cost."

The disgust with the notion of a government-run system was almost palpable in some comments:

"The U.S. government is already bankrupt. Its health care plan is too expensive," said one typical comment. "The government will end up rationing health care. Taxes will surely go up for the middle and upper class. We are in a recession."

He added: "This is not a good time to increase government expenditures and increase taxes."

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.aspx?id=506309


 

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Peach Extraordinaire



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  posted on 9/17/2009 at 06:29 AM
That's interesting, I work in the diagnostic imaging equipment industry. I just read this months Diagnostic Imaging magazine and 70% of Radiologists polled supported Health Care reform. Also the New England Journal of Medicine just published a poll saying 70% of Doctors support Health Care Reform.

 

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Universal Peach



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  posted on 9/17/2009 at 07:19 AM
quote:
That's interesting, I work in the diagnostic imaging equipment industry. I just read this months Diagnostic Imaging magazine and 70% of Radiologists polled supported Health Care reform. Also the New England Journal of Medicine just published a poll saying 70% of Doctors support Health Care Reform.


Consider the sources, "Investors.com" or the "New England Journal of Medicine." That's a tough one.....

[Edited on 9/17/2009 by Chain]

 

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  posted on 9/17/2009 at 07:22 AM
A RWJF survey summarized in the September 14, 2009 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine shows that 62.9 percent of physicians nationwide support proposals to expand health care coverage that include both public and private insurance options—where people under the age of 65 would have the choice of enrolling in a new public health insurance plan (like Medicare) or in private plans. The survey shows that just 27.3 percent of physicians support a new program that does not include a public option and instead provides subsidies for low-income people to purchase private insurance. Only 9.6 percent of doctors nationwide support a system where a Medicare-like public program is created in lieu of any private insurance. A majority of physicians (58%) also support expanding Medicare eligibility to those between the ages of 55 and 64.

http://www.rwjf.org/healthreform/

 

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  posted on 9/17/2009 at 07:28 AM
quote:
quote:
That's interesting, I work in the diagnostic imaging equipment industry. I just read this months Diagnostic Imaging magazine and 70% of Radiologists polled supported Health Care reform. Also the New England Journal of Medicine just published a poll saying 70% of Doctors support Health Care Reform.


Consider the sources, "Investors.com" or the "New England Journal of Medicine." That's a tough one.....


After IBD published an article saying that Steven Hawking would have been dead if he had to live under the NHS, I lost what little respect I had for them to start with. They print outright lies and are proud of it, I guess. What is disturbing even more is that alot of their readers could not realize how stupid the claim was and championed the article by posting it across the intertubes. This is what it has come to.

 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 9/17/2009 at 07:34 AM
quote:
That's interesting, I work in the diagnostic imaging equipment industry. I just read this months Diagnostic Imaging magazine and 70% of Radiologists polled supported Health Care reform. Also the New England Journal of Medicine just published a poll saying 70% of Doctors support Health Care Reform.




I think the question was do you support or oppose the proposed healthcare plan, not are you opposed to any plan? I would bet most doctors feel a need for healthcare reform, but it seems they don't like the one proposed, at least acrroding to this poll. Actually, I think everyone realizes the need for some reform....now the hard part is agreeing!!

 

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  posted on 9/17/2009 at 07:53 AM
Here is Nate Silver's take on the methodology of the poll. The IBD has extrmely low credibility and its chief purpose seems to be to muddy the water with disinformation.

quote:
IBD/TIPP Doctors Poll Is Not Trustworthy

by Nate Silver

I'm flying 35,000 feet somewhere over Eastern Ohio now -- isn't technology wonderful? -- so I can only comment on this briefly, but the Investors' Business Daily poll purporting to show widespread opposition to health care reform among doctors is simply not credible. There are five reasons why:

1. The survey was conducted by mail, which is unusual. The only other mail-based poll that I'm aware of is that conducted by the Columbus Dispatch, which was associated with an average error of about 7 percentage points -- the highest of any pollster that we tested.

2. At least one of the questions is blatantly biased: "Do you believe the government can cover 47 million more people and it will cost less money and th quality of care will be better?". Holy run-on-sentence, Batman? A pollster who asks a question like this one is not intending to be objective.

3. As we learned during the Presidntial campaign -- when, among other things, they had John McCain winning the youth vote 74-22 -- the IBD/TIPP polling operation has literally no idea what they're doing. I mean, literally none. For example, I don't trust IBD/TIPP to have competently selected anything resembling a random panel, which is harder to do than you'd think.

4. They say, somewhat ambiguously: "Responses are still coming in." This is also highly unorthodox. Professional pollsters generally do not report results before the survey period is compete.

5. There is virtually no disclosure about methodology. For example, IBD doesn't bother to define the term "practicing physician", which could mean almost anything. Nor do they explain how their randomization procedure worked, provide the entire question battery, or anything like that.

My advice would be to completely ignore this poll. There are pollsters out there that have an agenda but are highly competent, and there are pollsters that are nonpartisan but not particularly skilled. Rarely, however, do you find the whole package: that special pollster which is both biased and inept. IBD/TIPP is one of the few exceptions.



http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/

 

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  posted on 9/17/2009 at 07:53 AM
In my opinion, IBD is like the National Enquirer of business publications. It has some good technical analysis, but mostly drek. And it does have a very right of center slant. Just sayin'.

 

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  posted on 9/17/2009 at 08:35 AM
BarryO, or anybody in his cadre of power-grabbers, have yet to explain where the additional tens of thousands of doctors and nurses and ancillary medical care providers are going to come from in order to treat 30 million additional patients. Especially when his policies are making a medical career far less attractive to qualified people. It's the big elephant hiding in the room.

 

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  posted on 9/17/2009 at 10:03 AM
quote:
quote:
BarryO, or anybody in his cadre of power-grabbers, have yet to explain where the additional tens of thousands of doctors and nurses and ancillary medical care providers are going to come from in order to treat 30 million additional patients. Especially when his policies are making a medical career far less attractive to qualified people. It's the big elephant hiding in the room.

The influx of new patients will be offset by those meeting their fate before the death panels. Haven't you heard?


So you haven't a clue where all the new doctors are going to come from either? Have you noticed how much BarryO has NOT explained about his health-care reform? It's still mostly platitudenous sloganeering and doublespeak.

 

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  posted on 9/17/2009 at 10:08 AM
My Doctor said he will retire if this passes. According to CNN and Fox, 45% of current physicians say they will retire if this goes thru. Now, how do you treat 10-30 million 'new' patients with nearly half as many physicians? Answer....You don't! They are left to fend
for themselves in the 'rationing' system or just die.
NO OBAMACARE!

 

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  posted on 9/17/2009 at 10:27 AM
quote:
My Doctor said he will retire if this passes. According to CNN and Fox, 45% of current physicians say they will retire if this goes thru. Now, how do you treat 10-30 million 'new' patients with nearly half as many physicians? Answer....You don't! They are left to fend
for themselves in the 'rationing' system or just die.
NO OBAMACARE!


If I was you I'd find a new doctor anyway. he sounds like a total stupid ass.

 

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  posted on 9/17/2009 at 10:31 AM
quote:
My Doctor said he will retire if this passes. According to CNN and Fox, 45% of current physicians say they will retire if this goes thru. Now, how do you treat 10-30 million 'new' patients with nearly half as many physicians? Answer....You don't! They are left to fend
for themselves in the 'rationing' system or just die.
NO OBAMACARE!



You and RBK keep repeating the 'where will we get the physicians' line from the conservative emails.... many of these people get treated in emergency rooms today - by doctors - they just don't have insurance to pay for it.

There are plenty of doctors in my area - and I'm sure some of them would love more business.

 

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  posted on 9/17/2009 at 10:34 AM
quote:
quote:
My Doctor said he will retire if this passes. According to CNN and Fox, 45% of current physicians say they will retire if this goes thru. Now, how do you treat 10-30 million 'new' patients with nearly half as many physicians? Answer....You don't! They are left to fend
for themselves in the 'rationing' system or just die.
NO OBAMACARE!



You and RBK keep repeating the 'where will we get the physicians' line from the conservative emails.... many of these people get treated in emergency rooms today - by doctors - they just don't have insurance to pay for it.

There are plenty of doctors in my area - and I'm sure some of them would love more business.


'Many' do and as long as I'm paying their freight either way, they can go to the emergency room.

 

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  posted on 9/17/2009 at 10:34 AM
TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence conducted this poll? Everybody knows they're a bunch of damn racists.

 

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  posted on 9/17/2009 at 10:36 AM
quote:
as long as I'm paying their freight either way, they can go to the emergency room.


AT ABOUT 16 TIMES THE COST

fiscally responsible? I think not

 

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  posted on 9/17/2009 at 10:39 AM
If you have more patients and fewer doctors something, or someone, has to give. In this case someone is the American taxpayer 'giving' more.

 

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  posted on 9/17/2009 at 10:41 AM
quote:
BarryO, or anybody in his cadre of power-grabbers, have yet to explain where the additional tens of thousands of doctors and nurses and ancillary medical care providers are going to come from in order to treat 30 million additional patients. Especially when his policies are making a medical career far less attractive to qualified people. It's the big elephant hiding in the room.


there is no shortage of doctors... the problem lies in the system that
creates incentive to $pecialize in certain area$

there IS a shortage of primary care physicians,
related directly to the
"FOR PROFIT" system of health care

HR 676 with a very little tweaking
could easily solve this problem

 

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  posted on 9/17/2009 at 11:15 AM
quote:
quote:
BarryO, or anybody in his cadre of power-grabbers, have yet to explain where the additional tens of thousands of doctors and nurses and ancillary medical care providers are going to come from in order to treat 30 million additional patients. Especially when his policies are making a medical career far less attractive to qualified people. It's the big elephant hiding in the room.


there is no shortage of doctors... the problem lies in the system that
creates incentive to $pecialize in certain area$

there IS a shortage of primary care physicians,
related directly to the
"FOR PROFIT" system of health care

HR 676 with a very little tweaking
could easily solve this problem




So you are tacitly admitting that BarryO wants to dictate to doctors what they can practice and how much they can make. Thank you! I appreciate you candor as most democrat politicians have tried to keep this particular DISINCENTIVE under the rug.

 

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  posted on 9/17/2009 at 11:24 AM
I just saw yesterday that the majority of physicians favor a public option.

Maybe this poll is like the ones they conduct on FOX News, where all the questions begin with, "How outraged are you that........?"

Then the answers they pick from include, "Very outraged," "Somewhat outraged," etc.

 

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  posted on 9/17/2009 at 03:56 PM
quote:
quote:
My Doctor said he will retire if this passes. According to CNN and Fox, 45% of current physicians say they will retire if this goes thru. Now, how do you treat 10-30 million 'new' patients with nearly half as many physicians? Answer....You don't! They are left to fend
for themselves in the 'rationing' system or just die.
NO OBAMACARE!


Gee, if only there were some sort of doctor-training facilities in this nation... Perhaps a network of institutions of learning where normal people can go to study and learn and eventually emerge as doctors... Something like a university, but for people who want to practice medicine?


Seems like this program would create thousand of new, high-paying jobs. Isn't that what we need right now?

I'm being silly, because RBK is being stupid. He acts as if people without insurance aren't already going to the doctor. I'm not sure where he thinks they go when they are sick or need surgery.

 

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  posted on 9/17/2009 at 04:53 PM
I'm sure many Drs are against it just as many were against HMO's going to networks in the 90's. This doesn't seem new or surprising.

 

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  posted on 9/17/2009 at 05:13 PM
quote:
quote:
Let's see here.My primary dr is against it,the neurologist i saw a coupla weeks ago is against it,the allergy/asthma/immunology dr i saw last Friday is against it,and the dermatologist i saw about a month ago for a coupla spots my primary is concerned about is against it.
But i know,it's all a conspiracy right ? And these dr's are a small minority.4 in a row,just a coincidence i guess.
Carry on kid's.

Which one was the doctor that gave you the flu shot knowing you have a weak immune system and made you sick for 6 days? Because his opinion should count twice.


Now that was funny.

 

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  posted on 9/17/2009 at 06:17 PM
quote:
I'm sure many Drs are against it just as many were against HMO's going to networks in the 90's. This doesn't seem new or surprising.


Yep I've been around a lot of them over 26 years working on their broken equipment and there is no bigger bunch of whiners. Who cares if they don't like changing. **** em.

 

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  posted on 9/17/2009 at 07:17 PM
quote:
Let's see here.My primary dr is against it,the neurologist i saw a coupla weeks ago is against it,the allergy/asthma/immunology dr i saw last Friday is against it,and the dermatologist i saw about a month ago for a coupla spots my primary is concerned about is against it.
But i know,it's all a conspiracy right ? And these dr's are a small minority.4 in a row,just a coincidence i guess.
Carry on kid's.


if I remember right all the African Americans in your community thought just like you as well.

 
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