According to the Harvard School of Public Health, 40 percent of medical malpractice suits filed are “without merit.” Yet despite the frivolous nature of many suits, juries often award millions to plaintiffs — and their trial lawyers. These predatory suits amount to legalized extortion and require doctors to carry malpractice insurance at great expense. A Department of Health and Human Services study found that unlimited excessive damages add between $70 billion and $126 billion annually to health-care costs. Trial lawyers are staunch Democrat supporters.
Many of the physicians point out that the huge expansion of Medicaid enrollees (estimated at 30 million) called for under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) “is likely to backfire.” Almost half of the doctors (49 percent) said they will stop accepting Medicaid payments.
“More patient involvement” was ranked as a “most important” factor by 68 percent of the docs—just behind reducing government regulations and mandates.
Having health insurance–as required under the Affordable Care Act (upheld by the Supreme Court) means nothing if there aren’t doctors to care for us. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) estimates a shortage of 63,000 doctors by 2015 and 91,500 by 2020 and 130,600 by 2025. The new survey indicates such estimates may well minimize an ominous future shortage.
“Hands down,” the medical Foundation said in its report, “doctors blame government involvement in medicine for the current problems in medicine, and they are not shy to say they want it out. Two out of three doctors ranks government as the top reason.”
A Kentucky anesthesiologist complains “As regulations have increased there has been a direct impact on the cost of care increasing.” But as a family practitioner in Washington State wrote: “I want to focus on what is best for my patients, not what a government official deems cost effective.” Another Washington State physician, in an explosive response said, “The federal government needs to get the HELL out of the practice of medicine.”
Enormous cost of “setting up the infrastructure, complexity of payment, unclear regulations, delayed payments, extreme government involvement, need to hire specialists in Information Technology (IT), and database management, quality control, customer service, compliance, finance administration, and physician networking and following rules often set by non-medical personnel” face the nation’s medical system, the Foundation concluded.
In the desperate words of a Florida neurologist: “American healthcare is finished.”
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