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.

  • DHFabian

    Democrats (and doctors) know why anything resembling universal health care is out of the question. Let’s start using some honesty in the health care discussion. The middle/working class want low- or no-cost health care for those who are currently employed.

    Twenty-some years into our war on the poor, legislators (and doctors) know that it would make no sense to provide anything more than emergency room services to the very poor, just to dump them back on the streets. Lack of adequate food and shelter take a very heavy toll on human health. In fact, the overall life expectancy of the US poor already fell below that of every developed nation.

  • Aquifer

    Yeah, why don’t we “use some honesty” here – it is not “out of the question” – unless you are a corp politician, are you? .As for the “middle/working class” – they are the ones paying through the nose, or trying to, for healthcare – are you one of them?

    Of course lack of food and shelter take a toll, but you seem to want to pile it on with lack of healthcare as well …

    You have posted this before – rather routinely, as i recall, when the subject comes up – this rather obviously belies your oft stated “concern for the poor” – think about that for a bit ….

  • kevinzeese

    You make the same mistake you often make — speaking in generalizations. by two to one doctors favor improved Medicare foe all — but you make it sound like they oppose it. You have it backwards.

    As to legislators — one thing that can change is political reality. If people organize and mobilize, the politicians will follow. What will not change is the heath crisis — currently killing 30,000 a year (under Oamacare!) because people cannot get healthcare. The reality of mass death will not change until we change the political climate and politicians are forced to do what the people demand.

  • Helga Fellay

    DHF – You seem to know nothing about how Single Payer/Universal Health Care/Medicare for All actually works in countries which have had it and still enjoy it. It works just like our system now, only it costs a fraction of what we are paying now. If doctors prefer it (they would actually get less reimbursement from government than they currently get from private insurers) it is no doubt because it would simplify their lives to a huge extent. One billing to one payer (instead of this myriad of private carriers, each one with its own requirements, limitations, limits of coverage, etc.) It would simplify their lives and greatly reduce their billing costs. Your “provide anything more than emergency room services to the very poor, just to dump them back on the streets” is what is currently happening to the many uninsured and underinsured poor and working class under our current system. This does not happen under Single Payer plans in any other country.