Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What the doctors prescribe: a public option

Via:  Huffington Post  This is amazing.  The AMA doesn’t even represent the doctors!  Who the hell can you believe anymore? 

The Obama presidency is failing.  If the President doesn’t take this study in his hand and demand a public option he is even more of a wimp than he appears.  For a few weeks last fall, I suspended disbelief and gave him time to prove that his political instincts were better than mine, that he was going to clean up Wall Street and get health reform by waiting for the parade before jumping in front of it.  But now it is clear that he is simply cowed, afraid to go up against the oligarchs in finance and health insurance.  Any and all opposition to Beltway business-as-usual is being painted as lunatic fringe (and I wonder how much of it is staged by fifth column agents).  The body politic is very cagily being quartered, using the same old fake polarities of “Republican” and “Democrat,” “liberal” and “conservative,” when the real party in power, the Money Party, is pulling the strings and the people are still dancing to Ronnie Reagan’s Hollywood dream-song, thinking that they will be the ones to win the lottery, and that government is always their enemy…. The American people let this government happen, the American people will have to unseat it.

Majority Of Doctors Back Public Option: New England Journal Of Medicine Study

A new study finds that a majority of physicians support the creation of a public health care option.

A Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) study published in Monday's New England Journal of Medicine shows that 63 percent of physicians support a health reform proposal that includes both a public option and traditional private insurance. If the additional 10 percent of doctors who support an entirely public health system are included, then approximately three out of four physicians nationwide support inclusion of a public option. Only 27 percent support a private-only reform that would provide subsidies for low-income individuals to purchase private insurance.

Surveying a nationally representative sample of 2,130 physicians across America, researchers Salomeh Keyhani, M.D., M.P.H., and Alex Federman, M.D., M.P.H., from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City queried physicians about a range of options for expanding health insurance coverage.

"There should be no confusion about where doctors stand in the debate over expanding health insurance coverage: they want reform," said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. "This survey reveals important information about the perspective of physicians on issues central to the health reform debate. Policy makers should listen to their doctors."

"We found that no matter how you sliced the data, physicians demonstrated majority support for a public health insurance option, regardless of their type of practice or where they live," said Keyhani.

Among those physicians who identified themselves as members of the American Medical Association, 62.2 percent favored both the public and private options. The AMA has opposed a public option, saying that it "threatens to restrict patient choice by driving out private insurers."

A majority of physicians surveyed (58 percent) also supported expanding Medicare eligibility to those between the ages of 55 and 64.

"These results give voice to individual physicians in the national discussion about health reform," said Federman. "Most often we hear the opinions of special interest groups rather than doctors themselves, but we know that Americans want to hear the opinions of doctors like those who treat them. This study lets us hear the unfiltered views of physicians on key elements of health reform and should be useful for lawmakers."

Read the full study here.

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