April 4, 2008

Majority of Physicians Support Universal Health Care

A Universal Health Care Initiative has gained some momentum this week after a survey suggests doctor's opinions have changed substantially since the last survey in 2002. Reuters reports that of more than 2,000 doctors surveyed, 59% said they support a national health insurance program. The report appears in the Annals of Internal Medicine (sub req'd, scroll to page 566).

In 2002 the same survey found that 49% of doctors supported national health insurance. This marks the first time a peer-reviewed study has found that a majority of physicians approve of a switch from our patchwork insurance network to a unified national policy.

Even though this is the first study to definitively survey doctor's opinions, for years now there has been a push for universal coverage. The American Medical Association (AMA) began their "Voice For The Uninsured" program a few years ago to expand health care coverage to all citizens. On their website, the AMA outlines specific details and plans to reach their goal of coverage. The AMA is a large organization with members from the nursing and medical community, as well as students in the medical field.

The American College of Physicians, the nation's largest medical specialty group, last year endorsed single-payer healthcare as a national reform agenda. With 124,000 members, the organization said it is ready to stand behind a single-payer national healthcare system as the "one pathway" to universal coverage.

Groups of physicians and students have even started their own organizations, such as "Physicians for a National Health Program", which holds 15,000 physicians, medical students, and health professionals as members.

The American Medical Student Association also endorses a single-payer system, and these guys are going to be the future of health care in America. I think its time we start listening to the providers because they do have an inside knowledge of the machinery that effects the economics of our health care system. Many of them go abroad and observe the different systems in place around the world to truly grasp where our system stands compared to the world's best systems.

Unfortunately the answer that continues to be found is that we pay far too much for how little care we receive. Most of this goes to cover insurers costs and rising profits and gets passed on to the consumer as higher prices. At some point the public will have to demand access to more fair and affordable care or the prices will continue to rise on the backs of a fractioned patchwork insurance net we employ.

Sphere: Related Content