Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Doctors and the Public Option

A short post today because I'm going to spend some time trying to get campus newspapers interested in all things GradMed.

As the public option, at least in the opinion of the Times and some other media outlets, fades from view in the Senate negotiations, it's becoming clear just how many people really support it: the New England Journal of Medicine released a study whose results you can read about here. Some highlights:

-- Among doctors, combined support for a public option and a single payer system (which would be a Canadian-style system where the government has an even larger role in health insurance, and whose proponents would likely support a public option if forced to) is at 73%.

-- This proportion holds steady among rural doctors, urban doctors, specialists, general practitioners, etc. -- it's not that one group of doctors intensely supports the public option and others don't, it's that a majority of all doctors support the public option (the ways in which the public option would benefit rural America deserves its own post).

-- Even American Medical Association members -- and this is a large lobbying group that has, after signaling support, come out in opposition to the public option -- even their member base is in support of a public option.

Count this, perhaps, as another kind of sign that the more people know about the public option, the more likely they are to support it. Doctors are particularly well-versed in our current insurance system, have a good idea of the nation's health needs, and have been following the facts of the national debate -- accordingly, they're even more in favor of the public option than the average American.

No comments:

Post a Comment