New Diagnosis of What’s Causing Health Care Political Symptoms

26 03 2010

A couple of lines in the news jumped out at JJ this morning from this piece — maybe you’d already thought of it but she hadn’t!

As doctors move from being employers to employees, their politics often take a leftward turn. . .

Gordon H. Smith, executive vice president of the Maine Medical Association, said that his organization had changed from being like a chamber of commerce to being like a union.

Seems there’s been a dramatic move just in the past five years, from private practice to salaried medicine within hospitals and health care systems. No, not dramatic because it’s been quiet, not part of the high drama-trauma politics of health care reform. Still, HUGE. Imagine a third of all employer doctoring shifting to become employee doctoring, just since 2005! Talk about a revolution.

And it had nothing to do with government force via tea parties or pallin’ around with terrorists.

Individual doctors have been making marketplace choices, not being forced into this shift by government. So by the very definitions of right-wing politics, this reflects individual economic choice exercised by well-educated, hard-working, tax-paying Americans in their own best interest.

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2 responses

26 03 2010
COD

This is a real problem locally. The local hospital corporations hire young doctors, underpay them and work them like dogs. The crushing debt of medical school makes it virtually impossible for a young doctor to go into private practice. As soon as their contract is up they take off, and the non-compete provisions preclude them from working locally. So we end up with my wife, a Type I diabetic, not having an endocrinologist because there isn’t one on our insurance within 60 miles that is trained on insulin pumps. And there is exactly 1 dermatologist in our area of 100,000 people, and he is ready to retire. A brand new hospital just opened here, and another one is opening in the next month or so. 3 full service hospitals, but you can’t get an appointment with a doctor. And this is the system that Republicans think is working just fine.

27 03 2010
Nance Confer

Is there anything in the new law encouraging more family doctors or specialists in short supply? I seem to remember there was. . . at one point. . .

Nance

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