DALLAS, September 30, 2012 - If you get your medical care at the famed MSNBC health center, then there is no need to read further—your healthcare is more than adequately taken care of by the over-inflated, politically motivated egos of its world-class reporters. For everyone else, and the vast majority of Americans who didn’t even know that MSNBC indeed touts itself as a “news” organization, please read on. Your life could depend upon it.
Contrary to the talking heads who will say and do anything to promote their idealized, socialist-leaning, demagogue President, American world-class medical institutions—and the traditionally superior medical care we have all taken for granted—will soon be in for a world of hurt.
According to the recent Physicians Foundation survey of 13,575 physicians, over three quarters of physicians – 77.4 percent – are “somewhat pessimistic” or “very pessimistic” about the future of their medical profession. Over 84% of physicians agree that the “medical profession is in decline.”
These statistics are not based on inane theories about declining income, or even physicians’ own decreased inability to find fair representation on Capitol Hill for their dire concerns about threats to the sacred patient-physician relationship (certainly, with only 15% membership of practicing doctors, the AMA has not filled this void). This majority opinion of doctors about American medical care is based mostly upon a despondent, almost fatalistic attitude toward to seemingly unstoppable intrusion of government bureaucracy into the examination room.
To cite further from the Physicians Foundation survey: doctors are working 5.9% fewer hours than they did in 2008, resulting in a loss of 44,250 full-time-equivalents (FTEs) from the physician workforce; physicians are seeing 16.6% fewer patients per day than they did in 2008—a decline that could lead to tens of millions of fewer patients seen per year. And, physicians spend over 22 percent of their time on non-clinical paperwork, resulting in a loss of some 165,000 FTEs.
The survey indicates that over “52 percent of physicians have limited the access Medicare patients have to their practices” (or are planning to do so). About sixty percent of physicians would retire immediately if they had the means to do so—one predominant sentiment being that they can no longer truly be there for their patients who are most in need.
The key message here is this: Simply having an insurance card does not guarantee quality medical care—or even access to medical care at all. Note that over 26 percent of physicians have had to completely eliminate access for Medicaid patients to their expertise because the declining rates of reimbursement have long ago dipped below the cost of providing services.
In addition, over the next three years, over fifty percent of physicians plan to “cut back,” work less than full time, begin cash pay/concierge medicine services, or simply retire.
Over fifty-nine percent of doctors say that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) has made them less (not more) “positive about the future of healthcare in America.” Furthermore, with the overlay of hundreds of new, onerous regulations, non-clinical panels, templates and ‘mandates’, most doctors feel the implementation of the ‘Affordable Care Act’ will not only cost more to deliver, but actually reach less patients.
Is the important medical-political question of the day really one of semantics in parsing words uttered at a fundraiser, or is it about real numbers of healthcare professionals who are leaving the field of medicine for good.
If physicians treated their patients the way irresponsible reporters treat their audience, then they would all be drinking the cool-aid, basking in the glow of a fanciful new medical revolution in America, and happy to be able to do so much for the health of their countrymen. But doctors cannot simply play along with the unfolding tragedy of purported ‘health reform’ in the United States.
Maybe this is a reflection of their rigorous medical training and acutely tuned instincts; or maybe this aversion to conform with blind allegiance to political folly is a significant ‘red flag’—a solemn testament and final word of caution from America’s fading healing class to an increasingly estranged, sick nation.
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