Bernie Sanders is introducing his “Medicare for All” proposal, with the support of at least 15 Democrat senators, including all considered likely to be presidential hopefuls in 2020. Could a “fringe” proposal, which would “never, ever” come to pass, according to Hillary Clinton, be moving in to fill the vacuum created by the implosion of ObamaCare?
In fact, single payer seems to be moving toward the mainstream of physicians, according to a survey by Merritt Hawkins. Of the 1,033 respondents, 42% were strongly in favor, 14% somewhat in favor, and only 35% strongly opposed to a single-payer system.
Even in our own internet survey of subscribers to our email list, 68 of 737 physician respondents (9.23%) said they favored single payer.
We were most interested in what our members thought about the reasons why their colleagues liked the idea. Options included biased favorable coverage of socialized medicine in Europe and Canada (84%), indoctrination of young people in cultural Marxism (68%), lack of education in economics (68%), incorrect portrayal of our dysfunctional third-party system as “free market” (66%); and other (14%). Most checked several responses. More than 400 open-ended comments were submitted.
As Merritt Hawkins noted, physician support for single payer may be more from resignation than enthusiasm. This emphasizes for us the importance of helping physicians get off the third-party treadmill.
We also think that both our colleagues and elected officials need to be careful what they wish for. Most are poorly informed about what single payer really means. Hence our new economics education project: the Single Payer IQ Test. Each week for the next 10 weeks we will be distributing a new question and answer to legislators, physicians, and the public.
The first week’s question is, “Who is the single payer?” Future questions will be posted at aapsonline.org/hcriq (for health care reform IQ).
You can help!
- Disseminate the questions to your contacts, and let us know of any feedback.
- Send your ideas for further questions to [email protected].
- Send us email addresses for colleagues, friends, opinion leaders, officials, students, and others to whom you’d like us to mail.
- Support the project with your donations. Every dollar can help us reach as many as 50 new pairs of eyes!
Many thanks for helping the cause of freedom in medicine!
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