Monday, November 21, 2011

More Pushback from VT Providers

We've seen the "good cop" side of Vermont care providers' response to Single Payer, here comes the "bad cop."  The good doctor gives a litany of ways providers will react to the cost control regime, none of them good.  This kind of reaction is predictable and inevitable, it is why single payer advocates who focus solely on the evils of private insurance are not setting themselves up for success.  But two points are worth bearing in mind:
  • The fact that doctors practicing under the current system are unwilling to practice under a system affordable to the public doesn't mean that reform is unworkable.  It just means that different doctors will be needed.  Med Schools starting at the application stage need to reconsider what it means for someone to be a good candidate to become a doctor.  Why does someone want to practice medicine?  Is it to help people, or to get automatic entry into the top 0.1% of the economy?  Such questions need to be given priority, especially when you consider how trivial admissions processes are (is it relevant in any meaningful sense whether someone got an "A" or a "B" in a weed-out OChem class?)
  • Despite all the threats and complaints, the reality is that doctors in countries with single payer plans tend to be happier with their work then doctors now in the U.S. Again, see the point that maybe we need different people with different priorities and motivations practicing medicine.

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