Thursday, September 17, 2009

Some health care thoughts

There was a survey done by Investors Business Daily of physicians regarding the current health care reform proposals from Congress and the White House. I found it very interesting.

I found most interesting that almost half (45%) of the physicians surveyed said they would consider just up and quitting their profession if Congress passed the current proposals. There were an estimated 800,000 physicians practicing medicine in 2006. That means about 360,000 physicians would consider quitting.
There are probably a hundred issues that will arise if that happens. Here's a couple I gathered from the article and just by thinking this out
  • I'm not very good at math, but it seems to me that adding 47,000,000 people to the health care system to a system with a full slate of 800,000 is going to be tough in the first place - about one physician to every 60 people. If half the doctors bail - deciding the trade-off of a decade of education, crazy hours and tremendous debt - that will bump up the ratio to 120 citizens to every physician. I have a hard time believing that this type of system will provide better, cheaper health care than the current system provides.
  • Another stat that increases the discrepancy between physician and patient: Between 2003 to 2006 the number of active physicians in the U.S. grew by just 0.8% a year, while the population has been growing at 1% a year. If patients are being added faster than doctors...
  • A recent study found steadily declining enrollment in medical schools since 1980. The study found that, just with current patient demand, the U.S. will have 159,000 fewer doctors than it needs by 2025. If as many as say they'll back out do back out, that number jumps to over 500,000.
  • One of the biggest ways - according to the President and Senator Baucus (writer of the Senate proposal) - this $1,000,000,000,000 is through an increase in taxes on the wealthy. Aside from the immorality of this, there are going to be 360,000 less people to foot the bill if these physicians jump ship.
Anyway check out the article and decide for yourself.


Anonymous said...

Logan, here is a term we have heard nothing about in these health care debates: Moral Hazard. It is absurd that the debate has become such a partisan issue (which I get) when the real debate needs to over this issue. I hate to give a readers digest version of a moral hazard discussion so I will leave it up to your followers to check it out and learn for themselves.

Mormon Mama said...

A surgeon acquaintance of ours is discouraging his own son from entering medical school. He is very alarmed at the forecast for medicine.

Contact all congress people!!