Over Seven Out of Ten Doctors Recommend Including A Public Option


The average American might be totally confused about what the public option means but doctors who experience the differences between private insurance and public plans such as Medicare have a clear opinion.

Those of us who work with both types of plans realize that Medicare provides financing of health care for our patients more efficiently than private plans and meddles less in their care.  This poll from The New England Journal of Medicine and reported by NPR found that 63 percent of doctors support a combination of public and private options. Another 1o percent prefer a public-only option, or a single payer system. I bet that if there was an active push in Washington for Medicare for All, an even larger percentage of doctors would support it.

In July the American Medical Association endorsed the House health care plan which includes a public option. It remains uncertain if a plan with a public option can pass in the Senate.

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  1. 1
    jacksmith says:

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

    Robert Reich explains the pubic option:  http://bit.ly/dDYSJ  http://robertreich.blogspot.com/

    John Garamendi on the Public Option and the Grassroots:  http://bit.ly/TJMty

    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! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jason-rosenbaum/a-trigger-for-the-public_b_277910.html

    Triggers http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-sirota/weve-seen-these-triggers_b_283583.html

    Krugman on heathcare  (http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/25/why-markets-cant-cure-healthcare/)

    Senator Bernie Sanders on healthcare (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSM8t_cLZgk&feature=player_embedded)

  2. 2
    Eclectic Radical says:

    I saw the post title on the update list on my own blog page and got a totally different idea, remembering your weekly sci-fi postings. I clicked the link expecting to see Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Paul McGann, Christopher Ecceleston, and David Tenant united in support of US health care reform. 😉

  3. 3

    » Over Seven Out of Ten Doctors Recommend Including A Public …: The average American might be totally confused.. http://bit.ly/oyJE7

  4. 4
    tweet doctors says:

    » Over Seven Out of Ten Doctors Recommend Including A Public …: The average American might be totally confused.. http://bit.ly/oyJE7

  5. 5
    Ron Chusid says:

    But if seven Doctors supported the public option, which Doctors would have opposed it?

  6. 6
    Fritz says:

    Seven out of ten doctors want to make sure they get paid by someone under any circumstance.  Makes sense.

  7. 7
    Ron Chusid says:

    But it is significant that most doctors want to include a public option, as opposed to sticking strictly with private insurance.

  8. 8
    Eclectic Radical says:

    “But if seven Doctors supported the public option, which Doctors would have opposed it?”
    It’s less about anyone opposing it:
    William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee…
    Three out of ten Doctors are dead and in no condition to support anything. 🙁

  9. 9
    Fritz says:

    A government “option” will pretty soon be required if you don’t have private insurance.  So, again, doctors want to get paid.  An attitude I find hard to find fault with, to be sure.

  10. 10
    Ron Chusid says:

    No, that is not what the public option means. Those who don’t have insurance will have a choice of private insurance or the public option (if it survives). Most doctors think that people should be able to choose between the public option and private insurance.

  11. 11
    Right Wing extremist says:

    Oh boy another hippie communist blog!!

  12. 12
    Ron Chusid says:

    Yes, most of us doctors are actually hippie communists 🙂

  13. 13
    Fritz says:

    Ron — that means there always will be *someone* to pay the bills of people who could be your customers.  Sure — I can understand why doctors would want that.  It beats the old rural doctor thing of getting paid in chickens.

  14. 14
    Ron Chusid says:


    You are missing the point. A public plan is not necessary to have someone to pay the bills if everyone has insurance. It is significant that most doctors think this someone should include a public plan and not just private insurance.

  15. 15
    Fritz says:

    Why would everyone have insurance without a government plan in place?  Are you going to lock people up if they don’t buy health insurance?

  16. 16
    Ron Chusid says:


    Whether or not there is a public plan has nothing to do with how many people have insurance. The requirements for having insurance would be the same either way. The only difference is that without a public plan people will only be choosing among private insurance plans. If there is a public plan then people can choose between buying private insurance or buying coverage through the public plan. The same number of people will be insured either way.

  17. 17
    Fritz says:

    Ron, I think most doctors understand that once there is a government plan, it will be funded to take care of the uninsured.    I can already see the campaign — “Funding the plan will relieve the burden on the overworked emergency rooms”, etc.    Do you seriously not see that as the outcome?  I’m not addressing whether it is a bad outcome, just that it is rather obvious.

  18. 18
    Ron Chusid says:


    You still misunderstand. With health care reform there will be funding to take care of the uninsured. This could be either with or without a public plan. We do not need a public plan in order for the uninsured to be covered–that is one of the main points of health care reform.

    Once we have everyone covered, it is a totally separate question as to whether everyone be covered through private plans or if people have a choice between both public and private plans. Having a public plan will not affect the number of people who have insurance but will affect what choices people have.

    Doctors can achieve the goal of having the uninsured be covered without supporting the public plan, but still see the public plan as being of benefit.

    This is quite a contrast to the days in which doctors opposed Medicare.

  19. 19
    Fritz says:

    How do the current health bills take care of the uninsured?

    Let’s say the administration’s preferred bill (whichever it is) gets passed.  Then some guy without health insurance comes down with a nasty disease that requires a lot of medical care.  How will the doctor get paid?

  20. 20
    Ron Chusid says:

    In theory there will be no more uninsured. (Obviously even with a mandate there will always be some exceptions). There shouldn’t be anyone without health insurance coming down with a nasty disease because everyone should be insured.

    Those who are uninsured and cannot afford insurance will be covered either through subsidies depending upon income or expansion of Medicaid. The exact amounts of subsidies and degree of expansion of Medicaid remain matters which differ in the various bills. The subsidies could be used towards either private insurance, or towards a public option if this survives.

    Some people will undoubtedly still not get insurance despite the mandate and there will be some provisions to opt out. While universal coverage will never really be universal without a complete single payer system, whether or not there are a handful of people who remain uninsured is independent of the question of whether there is a public option included.

  21. 21
    Fritz says:

    As you’ve said, the government writes smaller checks but writes them more quickly (and perhaps with less paperwork).  I could see doctors liking that.

    You are certainly correct that there is nothing like the medical opposition to Medicare.  There used to be a stigma to government payment and control.  But that was a generation or two ago.

  22. 22
    Ron Chusid says:

    The checks are not always smaller, depending upon insurance. Even when smaller, the difference is not that great.

    It is not only a simple matter of paperwork in comparing Medicare to many private plans. Participating in many HMO’s requires so much work with things such as prior authorization that it could mean hiring an extra employee, which overall makes it a worse deal than Medicare.

  23. 23
    Eclectic Radical says:

    The only way I can imagine a mandate working without ridiculously punitive measures that defeat the point of trying to get everyone covered is point-of-purchase enrollment. If someone uninsured (who has slipped through the cracks for whatever reason) were to show up with a nasty disease, their ability to pay would be gauged much as it is now. If they were eligible, they would probably be automatically enrolled in Medicaid. Otherwise, during the ongoing process of addressing payment, they would be given information and assistance in obtaining health insurance.
    The downside to this is that it is more expensive to insure people once they are sick than before. The alternative, however, is an intrusive ‘insurance police’ organization or set of procedures designed to enforce compliance with the mandate. I consider that even more wasteful and entirely contrary to the purpose of reform. So point-of-purchase enrollment is the less objectionable alternative, despite the obvious economic weakness of such a system.
    Issues like this are why I favor single-payer. It’s actually cheaper and more efficient to subsidize people’s health care choices than to enforce widespread compliance to a mandate. It also solves the problem of ‘the uninsured.’ It’s the only real way to guarantee everyone has health insurance.

  24. 24
    Ron Chusid says:

    Most likely point of service sign ups will be one part. They might also charge a penalty on income taxes for those who have not obtained health insurance. How aggressive they are in enforcing a mandate will come down to a combination of the specifics of the law and how aggressive the executive branch wants to be. As Obama opposed mandates, I suspect that they will not be all that aggressive in enforcing it, within whatever limits there are in the final legislation.

  25. 25
    Eclectic Radical says:

    ‘They might also charge a penalty on income taxes for those who have not obtained health insurance.’
    I know this one has been talked about. I don’t care for it either, it adds bureaucracy to the tax system… as if that isn’t already more bureaucratic than it needs to be. Some variation of this will almost certainly be put into play, though, yes.
    The trouble with a mandate is that if you enforce it aggressively, you cause more problems than you solve. If you fail to enforce it sufficiently, you don’t solve the problems the mandate is intended to solve. Finding an effective but unintrusive and not unduly punitive balance between overenforcement and underenforcement is a major pain. States with auto liability insurance mandates still haven’t managed it, and those mandates have utterly failed to solve the free rider problem as it relates to auto insurance rates. They’ve just created a booming business in junk policies for people who need to comply with the law and can’t afford real coverage.
    The Finance Comittee bill developing as it has, the mandate is giving me a sour look on my face. I won’t pretend I liked it before, but I like it a lot less now.

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