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Friday, April 25, 2014

Are doctors undeserving profiteers?

Is it fair for doctors to be making so much money? Is it fair for doctors to get rich off taking care of the sick and needy? Is it true that doctors in the West are undeserving profiteers? These are questions now being asked by some in Washington in order to make healthcare more affordable.

It all comes down to Medicare.  A recent article in the Associated Press suggests that "Some doctors are getting rich off medicare."  In other words, they are getting rich by taking care of the sick and needy.

The article notes:
"Medicare paid a tiny group of doctors $3 million or more apiece in 2012. One got nearly $21 million. Those are among the findings of an Associated Press analysis of physician data released Wednesday by the Obama [Regime], part of a move to open the books on health care financing."
We knew this was going to come because the cost of Obamacare, while originally estimated to be under $900 Billion, was up to $2 trillion by 2012.  Now the cost appears to be climbing even higher.

Look, they already spent the first trillion, and that was projected to be what the program costs for the first ten years.  So, Lord knows the cost will probably end up being well over $2 trillion.  It may even end up over $3 trillion.

This may come as a surprise to some, but not to people who are familiar with the history of government.  Those of us who are history savvy know that anytime a new government program is proposed, the estimate is kept low in order to sell it to the voters.  Then once reality strikes the cost skyrockets.  Once again, history repeats itself here.

This poses a problem that has resulted in some intense brainstorming sessions at the Capitol, and one of the ideas postulated was this: "What if we convince the American people that doctors are getting paid too much?  Do you think we can do this? Do you think we can get away with this?  I mean, if we cut the price paid to doctors, then the cost of Obamacare would go down?  Huh?  Huh?"

A second person might have said: "Hey!  As I was investigating the books I found that one doctor received a check for $21 million.  Maybe we can get the word out that doctors are making this kind of money, and people will start to see rich people as being greedy.  This might work."

You know someone said those things.  And someone leaked out some ideas to the AP, and then out comes this story.

They want it to look like doctors are getting paid too much, and this will create a public blitz to make it so doctors aren't "taking advantage of the needy."  The goal is to cut medicare costs in order to cut healthcare costs in order so the government doesn't have to pay so much.

The problem with this is many doctors won't even accept Medicare because they can make more money from people with regular health insurance.  The problem is that most doctors do not get rich off Medicare because the government won't pay the fair market price, which in turn drives up the price for everyone who is paying.

There are also reports out now that many doctors have already taken pay cuts.  Of course we already know that hospitals have been hit so hard by regulations and reimbursement cuts that they have either been forced to make severe budget cuts themselves, which includes laying off nurses, or merging with larger corporations (something Obamacare made easier, by the way), or raising the cost of services they provide.

Now, according to good economic sense, according to economics 101, according to the history books, the more glamorous a profession appears, the more money you can make at a profession, the more people will want to do it.  This is how the United States gets some of the best doctors in the world.

Now, if there is no glamour in being a doctor, if doctors don't make money, if doctors have to live in the poor house, then there's no incentive to become a doctor.  If we don't have good doctors, then we won't have good healthcare.

I think I will just leave it at that and open it up to discussion.  Let us know what you think -- but be nice!

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