Doctors Support the Public Option

According to an article in the New England Journal of Medicine, a substantial majority of doctors support a public option; add in the number who prefer single-payer, and the status quo loving group is a small minority.

This entry was posted in Health Care. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Doctors Support the Public Option

  1. King of Cats says:

    Let’s take the poll and adapt it for law professors:

    “Survey respondents were asked to indicate which of three options for expanding [law school tuition loans] they would most strongly support:
    [1] public and private options, providing people younger than 65 years of age the choice of enrolling in a new [law school tuition loan program] plan (like [Sallie Mae]) or in private [loan] plans;
    [2] private [loan] options only, providing people with tax credits or subsidies, if they have low income, to [borrow law school tuition], without creating a new public plan;
    [3] or a public option only, eliminating private [law school tuition loans] and [paying everyone’s law school tuition] through a single public plan like [a communist Utopia].”

    As smart as you are, it will take you about 2 seconds to realize that option 1 is best for you as a provider. Of course, the more deep pockets paying the cash-olah for the poor saps who enroll in UM Law, the better it is for you. Why would doctors answer any other way?

    This poll proves what? Doctors like getting paid?

  2. jacksmith says:

    Why A Strong Public Option Is Essential – By jacksmith — Working Class

    Robert Reich explains the pubic option:

    John Garamendi on the Public Option and the Grassroots:

    It’s not just because more than two thirds of the American people want a single payer health care system. And if they cant have a single payer system 77% of all Americans want a strong government-run public option on day one (86% of democrats, 75% of independents, and 72% republicans). Basically everyone.

    It’s not just because according to a new AARP POLL: 86 percent of seniors want universal healthcare security for All, including 93% of Democrats, 87% of Independents, and 78% of Republicans. With 79% of seniors supporting creating a new strong Government-run public option plan, available immediately. Including 89% of Democrats, 80% of Independents, and 61% of Republicans, STUNNING!!

    It’s not just because it will lower cost. Because a strong public option will dramatically lower cost for everyone. And dramatically improved the quality of care everyone receives in America and around the World. Rich, middle class, and poor a like.

    It’s not just because it will save trillions of dollars and prevent the needless deaths of millions more of YOU, caused by a rush to profit by the DISGRACEFUL, GREED DRIVEN, PRIVATE FOR PROFIT MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX!

    It’s not just because every expert in every field, including economist, and Nobel laureates all agree that free market based healthcare systems don’t work. Never have and never will. The US has the only truly free market based healthcare system in the World. And as you all know now, IT IS A DISASTER!

    It’s not just because providing or denying medically necessary care for profit motivations is wrong. Because it is WRONG! It’s professionally, ethically, and morally REPUGNANT!, Animalistic, VILE and EVIL.


    The public option is ESSENTIAL because over 200 million of you are trapped in the forest of the wolves. Which is the forest of the DISGRACEFUL, GREED DRIVEN, PRIVATE FOR PROFIT MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX! With no way out except through needless inhumane suffering, and DEATH. While the wolves tear at your flesh, and rip you limb from lib. Then feast on your lifeless bodies like a dead carcase for transplant parts.

    At the most vulnerable times of your lives (when you were sick and hurting), millions of you have had to fight and loose cruel, but heroic battles. Fighting against the big guns of the DISGRACEFUL, GREED DRIVEN, PRIVATE FOR PROFIT MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX! in the forest of the wolves. All because you have no place else to go. You have no other CHOICE!

    But the PUBLIC OPTION will give you someplace safe to go. And it will give us someplace safe to take you. The public option will be your refugium (your refuge). Where the wolves cannot get at you when your down, hurting, and vulnerable. Where everyone who needs it can find rest, security, comfort and the care they need. Protected by the BIG GUNS of We The People Of The United States. THE MOST POWERFUL PEOPLE AND COUNTRY ON EARTH.

    This is why it is so critical that we do not lead another 50 million vulnerable, uninsured Americans into the forest of the wolves, without the protections of a Strong Government-run public option. We The People Of The United States MUST NOT LET THAT HAPPEN to any more of our fellow Americans. If healthcare reform does not contain a strong public option on day one. YOU MUST! KILL IT. Or you will do far more harm than good. And millions more will die needlessly. Rich, middle class, and poor a like.

    To those who would continue to obstruct good and true healthcare reform for the American people, and who seek to trap millions more vulnerable Americans in the forest of the wolves. We will continue to fight you. We are prepared to wage all out war against you, and will eagerly DESTROY! you. Time…is…UP! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! No Co-op’s! No Triggers! NO INDIVIDUAL MANDATES! without a Strong public option on day one.

    Healthcare reform can be the GREATEST! Accomplishment of our time and century. A time when future generations may say of us, that we were all, AMERICAS GREATEST GENERATIONS.


    I therefore call on all my fellow Americans and the peoples of the World. To join us in this fight so that we may finish becoming the better America that we aspire to be for everyone.


    I have been privileged to be witness as many of you fought, and struggled to take your first breath, and your last breath on this earth. Rich, middle class, and poor a like. Life is precious.

    Whatever the cost. WE! MUST SUCCEED.

    God Bless You My Fellow Human Beings

    jacksmith — Working Class

    No Triggers!


    Krugman on heathcare (

    Senator Bernie Sanders on healthcare (

  3. michael says:

    KoC – I suppose it is possible that a large majority of doctors are so greedy that they would close their eyes to the dangers of having a bureaucrat run medical care.

    But the doctors I know don’t seem to be like that. It seems more likely to me that this poll is further evidence that the people at the sharp end of medical care recognize that the quality of care will not be harmed — will in fact improve — if there is a public option. Which is what I expect to be the case.

    I don’t think the analogy to legal education works the way you think it does; I rather think it proves the opposite of what you expect. You see, there already IS a ‘public option’ for legal education in Florida — it’s called the University of Florida School of Law, FSU, FIU and so on. The prices charged at those institutions are substantially lower than charged by my private employer. The quality of service provided is good. And yet, the market has a home for us and many other private law schools too.

  4. Vic Puma says:

    The dominant choice is also the most inclusive choice, which doesn’t by itself imply accuracy, so much as inclusiveness. What if your waiter asked you at the start of dinner: “Would you prefer 2 glasses of wine, 3 glasses of wine, or a choice between 2 or 3 glasses of wine, for the members of your (large and diverse) party?” Of course you’d pick the choice option, probably regardless of your personal view of wine drinking. “Let them make the choice that works for them,” you might think. Same thing here, even a doctor that prefers solely private options to whatever he might think about the solely government option, given a choice of both is more likely to vote for choice, given that opportunity. This is an old poller’s tactic you see all the time. Deeper data is always needed on questions presented so inclusively as here.

    For example, polls tend to show that a majority of people think the healthcare system needs to be fixed – and the results are usually presented that way. However, when these same polls also include data about people’s satisfaction with their OWN health system, they overwhelmingly show satisfaction. How is this possible? Isn’t this contradictory? No. (I am extremely satisfied with my health plan, but I also agree that changes to the system would improve things for others) People tend to answer such generalized polls in ways that they think will include benefit to others, not necessarily in ways that reflect their personal satisfactions. Particularly when the question presented implies that very benefit. It doesn’t mean the result is automatically invalid, but it calls into question what you can imply from it.

    A serious issue comes from the response rate of the survey. Granted, the pollers acknowledge the low rate, and say it’s on par with other recent surveys, but that doesn’t mean anything really. For example: Telephone polling, for a variety of reasons, is known to heavily favor Democrats. If two phone polls have a similar response rate, in a district where the demographics are not known (at least by you), does that mean that the poll shows the real viewpoint of people in the area? Of course not. You don’t know how many people having an opposing viewpoint simply didn’t answer the phone for the poll (I never do), weren’t home, or whatever. If these pollsters are typically getting in the low 40’s for their response rate, it could EASILY mean that a significant number of pollees chose not to given their efforts the time of day (but it does not mean the missing 58% must feel the same way in the same proportion).

    The poll certainly does not, as you suggest, only imply that doctors think quality will improve. It also can imply that they believe that more people getting the same quality care is better than the same number of people getting the same care. It may even imply that doctors would be supportive of more people getting care, even if overall care were of lesser quality. So you are making interpretations that I don’t think the data can confirm.

    There is also the very real issue of Medicare corruption to take into account. Studies have show that doctors in regions with more doctors per patient tend to spend more (make more claims against Medicare for their work) than doctors in regions with fewer doctors, for the same care. Why? Because doctors in the first regions have more time to do various tests/procedures that might be glossed over, or eliminated in the interests of time, in the second regions. These tests suggest that doctors who can, will do things allowed by Medicare to the fullest extent they can. (this is not to imply they are doing anything wrong.) Such a situation, would also predict the response given to Panel B in the survey, showing more doctors favoring expansion of Medicare.

    I’ll stop there, but I could go on…

    So, while you are quick to draw conclusions from this poll, and you may in fact have drawn correct ones, there are other conclusions that can be just as easily and adamantly drawn that suggest an opposing view on this, so you might be wrong. What’s always more important than any poll results, is analysis of the underlying data, the data sample, the questions asked, and various human elements. Certainly, a simple table result on such a complex issue is very likely misleading at best.

  5. King of Cats says:

    1. Doctors favoring more funding sources is not greed.
    2. My analogy was law school loan financing, not law schools. Federal student loan financing is clearly a benefit to you, and you would be a fool to oppose it. I doubt you would oppose it even if it was a money loser. My understanding is that Sallie Mae is a bottomless pit.
    3. But even if we take your analogy of public law schools consider:
    a. Access is rationed. Most UM Law students are there because they could not get into UF. Especially Florida residents.
    b. UF is a state run institution, not a federal institution.

  6. Rhodo Zeb says:

    Ha ha well ain’t this a sight! Actual evidence is just ignored when inconvenient! Vic weren’t you just telling me about how this is a slightly conservative nation? That may well be true, but healthcare reform is popular, and ignoring the evidence isn’t going to help your side politically. Then again, nothing will, so you may as well ignore the evidence.

    And KoC, could you try to be less rude to our host? Your little comments from time to time about how Michael has to be an elitist law professor just weaken your credibility.

    Oops, which couldn’t get any weaker, so you may as well…hmmm seems as if a theme is becoming apparent here.

  7. Vic Puma says:

    RZ, I really wish your reading was more careful.

    Yes, I recently said that recent polls showed that a majority of people, in EVERY state, claim to be conservative. Which says NOTHING about whether the actual demographic in each state is conservative by majority or not. And remember, majority does not mean “vast majority,” it means 51% or better. And some claiming conservative, may in fact be better classified as blue dogs. So obviously some states are going to have numbers like 51%/49%, which is more even steven, than anything else. But what is significant about these polls is how they figure into the long-standing understanding of polls that they naturally tend to favor Democrats for various reasons (sometimes bias in polltaker, sometimes just how the demographic works). If we put those two factors together, it strongly suggests that there really is a conservative majority, AT LEAST in most states, even considering error rates and unsampled persons in the polling. AND THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH WHO IS ACTUALLY ELECTED IN THOSE STATES, IT’S MERELY REFLECTIVE OF THE POPULAR ATTITUDE. Conservatism soes not mean you are a Republican, it means you have Conservative values in most areas. It does not also mean you can’t vote as a Democrat. Most Dems I know have lots of conservative values mixed with liberal social views.

    So I have said nothing inconsistent when you understand what I actually said.

    As for whether healthcare reform is popular, you need to read again what I wrote.

  8. Rhodo Zeb says:

    Vic, your mendacity is so very earnest, it is amusing.

    First off, let me just tell you and KoC something you ought to keep in mind:

    I read better than you. By a wide margin. Telling me to read more carefully is humorous at best, and pitiful at worst.

    Insulting people rather than debating real issues (and using real facts in said debates) is, indeed, your MO, but nonetheless let me point out this inconvenient fact.

    Now, let’s go through this again, as we have already a few times. Try to stay with me.

    You are laughably allergic to links and facts, just like McArdle. I tell you to show some evidence for your claims, and you just ignore it, as if it doesn’t really matter. Problem is, facts do matter and those who ignore facts tend to be…well I won’t finish that, but a not nice word goes there. Ignorant perhaps? Stupid even? But let’s just avoid that particular issue.

    The poll indicates that doctors are largely in favor of reform, and all you do is try to tear down the result, without even acknowledging that it might have some truth in it. You don’t like facts, period, it seems, and certainly don’t like any evidence that you might (gasp) be wrong.

    So you wrap yourself up in a bizarre combination of beliefs, all without any evidence whatsoever.

    Let’s go to the tape:

    polls tend to show that a majority of people think the healthcare system needs to be fixed – and the results are usually presented that way. However, when these same polls also include data about people’s satisfaction with their OWN health system, they overwhelmingly show satisfaction.

    Except for those 45 million Americans you refuse to acknowledge at all

    Telephone polling, for a variety of reasons, is known to heavily favor Democrats.

    Because they are all unemployed! Hur hur hur.

    Studies have show that doctors in regions with more doctors per patient tend to spend more (make more claims against Medicare for their work) than doctors in regions with fewer doctors, for the same care. Why? Because doctors in the first regions have more time to do various tests/procedures that might be glossed over, or eliminated in the interests of time, in the second regions.

    My god how could this claim, even if true, have anything to do with your argument? No, don’t answer that, rhetorical question. I do not want to witness you try to argue your way out of a paper bag.

    Why would anyone believe these ‘facts’ if you can’t support them? Indeed, no one who is not predisposed to believing your views is going to believe, period, without evidence, and even among those so predisposed, only the true lovers of ignorance are going to trust your unsubstantiated claims.

    You can’t simply argue that you are right. Not if you want to actually sway anybody in a debate.

    Normally I would go back through your post and help identify and isolate your actual argument for you, but by now I have little patience with the sea of suspect claims and beliefs in your so-called argument.

    And yes, you could go on. Because ‘facts’, when pulled out of one’s rear end, are indeed limitless.

    As for healthcare reform, you need to read things called facts and bring them into the debate. Otherwise you (and all of us) will get nowhere.

    I suppose someone derives pleasure from all of this. But these debates are not really important. What is important is that most people (present company, of course, partially-excepted) realize that cutting out the insurance companies is going to be great for everyone.

    And that seems to include a significant portion of the House.

    That is important. This is not. You are not winning any ground at present, although you are well-situated because of the huge dollars corporations are able to put into lobbying. To muddy the waters, of course. While they take your money.

    There is a sea-change going on, and your side is going to lose, bad.

  9. Vic Puma says:

    Why should I bother linking to things if your reading comprehension is wilfully lacking (as if an internet link automatically counts as a fact – and which you’ve just conveniently dismissed when I have offered them in the past anyway)? You repeat things I’ve said, like you’ve never even noticed the context or other things I’ve said for further clarification. It is pointless to engage you and it would be equally pointless to give you the links you demand, since you won’t read those either.

    No, RZ, I will not engage you further, I’m not interested in your viewpoints, nor do I need to be reminded constantly by you that you’ve already made up your mind on 100% of the questions that can ever come up in life.

    I’m just sorry that Michael seems to have skittered away again, rather than ever discourse on his

  10. Rhodo Zeb says:

    Ha ha this just gets better and better.

    So, apparently the best Vic can do, to try to ‘debate the actual policies’, is to pull ‘facts’ out of his backside. Thanks Vic, for providing these vital facts that only your digestive system can produce.

    You are cleaning them first, aren’t you?

    If only there was some way to get actual facts that wouldn’t be easily dismissed…

    Hmm looks like the internets is broke. Someone needs to fix that.

    Vic you are not arguing in any real sense of the word. You are merely blathering on about, well, whatever it is you are on about.

    Why would Michael engage you? Its just going to turn into the same thing it always does, accusations about elites and how they don’t care or understand real people, or some such nonsense.

    Why would anyone engage you? You are not an honest dealer in information, quite clearly.

    So far I can think of precisely one link you have put up, and that link was to a clearly apologist site, using a bunch of pictures from who knows where as evidence of a false equivalence.

    Oh, but sorry, I apparently can’t read critically. Not as well as the great Vic whose argument is a constantly shifting thing.

    Keep on digging, bro, you will get over here sooner or later.

Comments are closed.