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Physicians and ...
Single-Payer Health Care,
Improved Medicare for All

Associated question(s) or comments:
— What are the opinion of physicians regarding single-payer?
— How will my family physician be impacted?

  • Opinions of Physicians: increasingly in favor of national health insurance
    • Doctors, by a solid majority of 59%, support national health insurance, as reported by a PNHP article: “The findings reflect a leap of 10 percentage points in physician support for national health insurance (NHI) since 2002, when a similar survey was conducted.”

  • Impact on Physicians
    • Increase in net income, especially for family physicians
      • Savings in the cost and time associated with paying for and managing a billing staff or the cost of hiring a contractor to handle billing
      • Savings in medical liability insurance (malpractice premiums), which will drop significantly. It will not be possible to include the cost of care for the victim’s lifetime.
    • Increase in time with patients as a result of the dramatic reduction in bureaucracy, including what is documented above.
    • Better job satisfaction, which will likely rise dramatically
      • In a 2008 survey (pdf) of over 12,000 physicians:
        • over 60% state year that the non-clinical paperwork (which will go down with single-payer) caused them to spend less time with their patients
        • over 90% said that non-clinical paperwork has increased in the last 3 years
        • 60% recorded that they would not recommend medicine as a career.
      • Physicians are often limited in what they can do for a patient based on the patient’s ability to pay and based on the health insurance companies’ restrictions within the health insurance plans and with the operation of the health insurance companies’ moment-by-moment determination of whether or not a certain medical activity is covered or not.
    • Fewer controls on providing care
      • There will no longer be a need to call the patient’s health insurance company to ask for permission to provide health care. Relative to today’s situation there will be relatively few restrictions. If and when there is a restriction, the physician will likely know about it in advance. We are "stretching it" to even use the word restriction here, because the freedom of a physician to help patients will be dramatically expanded.
      • One example of a restriction might be Viagra. The medical board in Australia decided that the number of persons who would actually benefit from that drug was so extremely small that they decided to not support it within their national health insurance system.





Experiences of physicians in other countries


A British Physician:

Credit: the documentary "SiCKO"



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