Are Doctor’s Shrugging?

This is depressing:

Nearly half the respondents in a survey of U.S. primary care physicians said that they would seriously consider getting out of the medical business within the next three years if they had an alternative.

The reason?

Of the 12,000 respondents, 49 percent said they’d consider leaving medicine. Many said they are overwhelmed with their practices, not because they have too many patients, but because there’s too much red tape generated from insurance companies and government agencies.

The really sad thing is, I don’t blame them. And I’m sure the prospect of a socialized healthcare program like those foisted on Canadian and British subjects doesn’t help matters much.

Consider:

To manage their daily work schedules, many survey respondents reported making changes. With lower reimbursement from insurance companies and the cost of malpractice insurance skyrocketing, these health professionals say it’s not worth running a practice and are changing careers. Others say they’re going into so-called boutique medicine, in which they charge patients a yearly fee up front and don’t take insurance.

And some like Pocinki are limiting the type of insurance they’ll take and the number of patients on Medicare and Medicaid. According to the foundation’s report, over a third of those surveyed have closed their practices to Medicaid patients and 12 percent have closed their practices to Medicare patients. That can leave a lot of patients looking for a doctor. [Emphasis added.]

Unfortunately, doctors lack the philosophical foundation to recognize where the problem really lies, and the American Medical Association certainly isn’t providing any rational guidance. Instead, the AMA is pushing the profession to seek government “guidance”–which would be a lot like me going to the DMV for medical advice.

Incidentally, I think the “boutique medicine” mentioned above is what’s left of a free market asserting itself. Howeve, rest assured that under a national healthcare plan (i.e., socialized medicine), such private contractual relationships will be outlawed as unfair. Doctors will be required to either treat all comers or… well, they’ll be required to treat all comers. And unlike Canadians who can, today, still head south for better healthcare options, there will be nowhere else to go.

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