Green Room

Would you take a 32% cut in pay?

posted at 12:15 pm on January 19, 2011 by

My husband’s employer had to freeze pay rates and omit bonuses this year. At the same time, the cost of insurance went up. His employer absorbed the majority of the cost increase, but employees had to take a hit, as well. Given the rising cost of food and gasoline, our family is definitely trying to make do with less.

But not 32% less, along with less pleasant working conditions in which my husband is expected to perform the exact same job.

On the other hand… hey, doctors are rich, so let’s stick it to them! From Heritage:

She’s not alone. A group known as Docs4PatientCare, led by Dr. Hal Scherz, has brought together doctors across America to make the case for repealing Obamacare.

I realize that to some people, especially government employees math is hard. But healthcare is not now and has never been, anywhere in the world, FREE. It’s just a question of deciding who bears the cost for it. Some people are demanding that doctors do so. It’s only fair, they reason, that people so privileged as doctors be required to give back, besides, it’s immoral to make a profit off sick people.

They never seem to wonder exactly with what these doctors are privileged. Crushing education debt? Long hours? Incredibly high malpractice premiums? The right to have your name ruined by some yahoo looking for a quick buck when he sues you? The right to have a jury easily swayed by a convincing attorney award him the value of years worth of your labor?

Give back? That’s based on the theory they took something away from people in the first place. What did they take? No one seems to know.

But ask yourself – would you work hard and bear heavy responsibility without being well-compensated for it? At some point, wouldn’t you decide that if you’re going to be paid less anyway, you’d rather take an easier job? I would.

Doctors are already voting with their feet in Massachusetts, which has suffered under an Obamacare-type plan for several years. Sure, everyone is covered by insurance. But good luck finding a doctor.

Fifty-six percent of Massachusetts internal medicine physicians no longer are accepting new patients, according to a 2009 physician work-force study conducted by the Massachusetts Medical Society. For new patients who do get an appointment with a primary-care doctor, the average waiting time is 44 days, the Medical Society found.

And that’s not just in Massachusetts.

The House of Representatives will soon vote on repealing Obamacare, but the vote is largely symbolic because there’s little chance Harry Reid will permit it come to a vote in the Senate. Even if it did pass a Senate vote, President Obama would surely veto it. Obama promised that if we like our plan, if we like our doctor, we can keep them. I do like my doctor and I want to keep her. That’s why I’m doing my part to keep the heat on Congress to repeal Obamacare, and failing that, chip away at it and refuse to fund it. In other words, to stop giving her reasons to quit.


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It’s even better for ER doctors: they are REQUIRED by law to evaluate and stabilize every person who shows up. Not only does no one have to pay, but anything paid by government health care is far less than what it costs. Can we take the unpaid work as a charitable deduction? Not a chance.
We were lucky to have used my husband’s firefighter pension to help pay for medical school, and I worked to support the family to keep the loan amounts down. I pity the current medical students who graduate with hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt (with a variable interest rate) who will never be able to show a benefit for the extra years of college and the slave labor of internships and residencies. Not one of my six children is considering a medical career.

spudmom on January 19, 2011 at 1:15 PM

Try finding a doctor whose parent was a doctor. My father was a great doctor, but we never saw him. My mother had a nervous breakdown trying to keep track of 5 kids with no help.

Then he got sued for malpractice, had to stop working for a time because his insurance carrier dropped him and nobody would cover him with a pending suit, and when he refused to settle the thing dragged on for four years. After that he had to double his rates to pay for the malpractice insurance.

Before Medicare and Medicaid, my father never turned away a patient, and some would pay him $5 a month for 3 years to pay off their bill. He would get baskets of vegetables, and once a patient even made a quilt for him because she had no money. Then the IRS told him he could not write off any unpaid or reduced bills unless he had made three documented attempts to collect them. So he had to hire an accountant and an office clerk to start sending out bills and doumenting everything for the IRS. This forced him to raise his rates again and forced him to stop treating poor people for free.

He told me when Medicare was passed that it would eventually lead to socialized medicine and would bankrput the country.

rockmom on January 19, 2011 at 2:05 PM

Give back? That’s based on the theory they took something away from people in the first place. What did they take? No one seems to know.

That reminds me of a question Dr Sowell asks frequently: (paraphrased) If Rockefeller was a robber baron, who exactly did he rob?

Random Numbers (Brian Epps) on January 19, 2011 at 10:14 PM

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