Survey: Physician Attitudes Shift To Single Payer

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Above Photo: by Occupy

Note: We are not surprised that physician’s favor a single payer funding system for healthcare. It would greatly reduce their overhead, billing and paperwork. It would also make malpractice insurance a minimal expense since the biggest expense of a bad health outcome is treatment to deal with the problem — that would be covered in an Improved Medicare for All system. Don McCanne who writes Quote of the Day for Physicians for a National Health Program responded writing:

“Once again we have a report that shows that physicians and medical students believe that health care is a human right that should be made available to all and that a single payer, improved Medicare for All is clearly the preferred model of reform. This survey also adds the findings that single payer is preferred over the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) by a margin of 2 to 1, and also preferred over the American Health Care Act (Republican Repeal and Replace) by an even larger margin – 3 to 1.

“The people want Medicare for all, and physicians and other health professionals want Medicare for all. In health care, who else matters?”

Nearly four in five Chicago area physicians are opposed to the American Health Care Act (AHCA) under consideration by the U.S. Senate as increasing numbers of physicians support a single-payer “Medicare-for-All” form of health insurance.

A survey of more than 1,000 physicians by the Chicago Medical Society about payment models indicates 77% of these doctors in Cook and its Illinois collar counties have a “generally unfavorable” view of the American Health Care Act, which was passed last month by the U.S. House of Representatives and is currently being debated in the U.S. Senate.

‘Unfavorable’ view of AHCA

The AHCA, which would roll back the Medicaid expansion in 31 states, including Illinois, earned positive views from just 23.4 percent of physicians who said they were “generally favorable” about the legislation.

Rather, physicians voice support for single payer and and also  support the Affordable Care Act (ACA)with some fixes. In the Chicago Medical Society survey, the ACA received a “generally favorable” view from 62.7% of Chicago area physicians and even more, or 66.8% have a “generally favorable” view of a single-payer financing health care system.  Given a choice between single payer, an improved ACA and the AHCA, Chicago physicians favored a single payer approach by 2 to 1 over the ACA and by 3 to 1 over the AHCA.

Chicago area physicians’ more positive views of single-payer financing comes as attitudes shift on the issue. Just last week, the California Senate approved a “Medicare for all-type/single payer bill.”

Physicians split on private insurer role

Physicians are divided on whether the private insurance industry should play a role in the future delivery of medical care, the Chicago Medical Society analysis shows. Of those surveyed, 50.3% either “disagree somewhat” (24.8%) or “disagree strongly” (25.5%) with private insurance companies continuing their role in the U.S. healthcare system, while 49.7% either “strongly agree” or “agree somewhat” that private insurers should be involved.

Other highlights:

  • 87.6% of physicians think “basic health care would be available to all individuals as part of the social contract, a right similar to basic education, police and fire protection.”
  • 59.5% of physicians “agree strongly” (15.2%) or “agree somewhat” (44.3%) that people currently have access to the medical care that they need.

The Chicago Medical Society poll surveyed 1,060 physicians in Cook County and adjacent “collar counties.” The poll comes as policymakers and members of Congress are considering reforms to the U.S. healthcare system, which will also be debated and discussed by physicians in Chicago Saturday through Wednesday for the American Medical Association’s annual meeting June 10-14.