Green Room

New Survey: 65% of Doctors Say Healthcare Quality Will Decline under ObamaCare

posted at 1:47 pm on January 19, 2011 by

As the House of Representatives begins its debate on efforts to repeal a law that gives the government control over 18 percent of the gross domestic product, alternate sets of numbers are being put forward by members of the opposing parties on the ramifications of repeal.

On the anti-repeal side, the Department Health and Human Services released figures indicating that up to 129 million Americans under 65 who have a pre-existing health condition would risk losing health insurance if the law is repealed. On the pro-repeal side, Republicans charge that the Congressional Budget Office estimate of the cost of repeal, some $230 billion, is based on inaccurate input.

One number over which there can no dispute is the 65% of doctors who insist that the quality of healthcare will decline if the law goes forward as written. This was one of a number of findings from a newly released Thomson Reuters survey of 2,900 doctors.

No matter which side of the health care debate you find yourself on, one indisputable fact is that our health care system is only as good as the number and quality of medical professionals who staff it.

As to the number of doctors, at a time when coverage is being extended to between 30 and 45 million Americans, the nation is going to need more health professionals. But another study suggests the opposite is likely to happen. When asked about plans to change the way they practiced medicine as the health care reform law was being phased in, only 26% of doctors said they intended to maintain the status quo.

  • 16% said they planned to retire.
  • 19% said they would cut back on the number of hours.
  • 12% said they would cut back on patients seen, and 6% said they would close their practice to new patients.

Reacting to the findings of the Thomson Reuters poll, David Shrier, chief executive officer of HCPlexus, is quoted by CNBC as having said:

The National Physicians Survey tells us that physicians have not been enlisted in the healthcare reform process… The message they’ve taken from healthcare reform appears to be ‘Do more with less.’ Doctors are telling us they feel disenfranchised and overburdened.

In the meantime, the number of states challenging the constitutionality of the law is now up to 26, more than half of all states in the union.

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the number of people wishing to become doctors far exceeds the number of med school slots.
we can train more and, no, quality won’t suffer. It’s at least as likely to improve.

audiculous on January 19, 2011 at 2:35 PM

BTW Mr P., what happened to that Martin Luther King post of yours?

audiculous on January 19, 2011 at 2:36 PM

Count it!

Inanemergencydial on January 19, 2011 at 8:10 PM

the number of people wishing to become doctors far exceeds the number of med school slots.
we can train more and, no, quality won’t suffer. It’s at least as likely to improve.

audiculous on January 19, 2011 at 2:35 PM

Audi, I’m stunned that you would call 65% of the doctored medical profession liars or stupid, but that’s about what this is tantamount to. Unless you actually have a practical reason to believe that quality won’t decline (such as an M.D. behind your own name), I’m more inclined to trust medical professionals over an anonymous blog commenter.

gryphon202 on January 19, 2011 at 9:33 PM

Audi, I’m stunned that you would call 65% of the doctored medical profession liars or stupid, but that’s about what this is tantamount to.

that’s not what I was saying. not calling them anything.

I was responding to Mr Portnoy’s forecast of an exodus from the medical profession by mentioning that the number of MDs turned out in the US is far below our capacity, so that we could easily increase the supply of MDs and offset the retirees.

audiculous on January 19, 2011 at 10:44 PM

One number over which there can no dispute is the 65% of doctors who insist that the quality of healthcare will decline if the law goes forward as written. This was one of a number of findings from a newly released Thomson Reuters survey of 2,900 doctors.

the question was about the short-term effects (within 5 years)

and the survey found that the response was driven by anger at the effects of reform on doctors, which the doctors said would suffer more then the patients.
they also said that the decline would by due to, in order

political reasons

the insurance companies

and then

provisions of the reform legislation.

the doctors surely didn’t like it, but the dislike was due to several factors.

audiculous on January 20, 2011 at 1:03 PM

Of course, that count on people who wish to become doctors is based on CURRENT incentives, where lots of hard work and time invested has a chance to pay off. Since EVERY govt health plan on the planet removes that incentive, watch that count drop like a rock.

SDN on January 21, 2011 at 12:16 PM

SDN,

people don’t become doctors because they want to make easy money, bub.

they make plenty of money and still will, but those people interested in maximizing their cash return, become bankers or work for insurance companies or some other thing.

we won’t run short of qualified people willing to work hard at doing good rather than well.

audiculous on January 21, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Actually, applications for medical school have dropped since Obamacare was signed into law.

in_awe on January 28, 2011 at 9:25 PM