Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Physicians switching to support of the Obama ACA

This is from the blog Liberal Values:

Doctors Moving Left For Many More Reasons Than The New York Times Reports

An article at The New York Times argues that doctors are moving left as a greater number of us are employees as opposed to running our own practice. There is no doubt some truth, but I am far from the only physician in this country who has avoided the trend of selling out to hospitals and also supported health care reform. There are many other potential factors in play beyond the speculation in this article. These include:

  • The health care crisis has become far worse in the last decade with the individual market being on the verge of complete destruction. Doctors, regardless of type of practice, are often the first to see this. Besides, those of us who are self-employed know first hand how hard it is to purchase health insurance at a reasonable price.
  • Health insurance companies, allies of the Republicans, increasingly have been seen as the problem, especially during the fiasco when HMO’s were dominant.
  • On the other hand, Medicare, while certainly not without faults, has often treated doctors more fairly than private insurance, contradicting the conservative scare stories about “socialized medicine.”
  • Perhaps more doctors have learned what marginal tax rates really mean. I know some doctors who will still vote based upon promises of lower taxes, but many more of us have learned that it is the ultra-wealthy who benefit from Republican tax breaks while, at worst, we wind up paying an amount we can easily afford with a slightly higher marginal rate under Democrats. Besides, the better overall business climate usually present under Democratic administrations does more for our incomes than a tiny difference in marginal tax rates.
  • Finally, there is the problem that the Republicans and conservative movement has become bat-shit crazy. It is difficult for many physicians who studied science to vote for a party with so many leaders who deny evolution. Slightly lower taxes is a high price to pay for the insane views and policies of the far right.

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