No one knows more about the state of medical care in America than the people delivering it. That's what gives extra punch to a survey finding that a solid majority--59%--of doctors now favor national universal health insurance, substantially up from 6 years ago. Yes, real single-payer, not the private insurance expansion favored in different forms by all of the presidential candidates. It's another case of politics dragging way behind what actual people want.
The report, by Indiana University researchers, was an update of a 2002 survey, and found a 20% increase in doctors favoring a national health plan. So far the brief but striking survey has gotten precious little media coverage--maybe because it was only a couple of questions, no complex digging about reasons. It's too bad, because the results were crystal-clear.
From the Reuters story:
Of more than 2,000 doctors surveyed, 59 percent said they support
legislation to establish a national health insurance program, while 32
percent said they opposed it, researchers reported in the journal
Annals of Internal Medicine.
The 2002 survey found that 49 percent of physicians supported national health insurance and 40 percent opposed it.
"Many claim to speak for physicians and represent their views. We asked
doctors directly and found that, contrary to conventional wisdom, most
doctors support national health insurance," said Dr. Aaron Carroll of
the Indiana University School of Medicine, who led the study.
"As doctors, we find that our patients suffer because of increasing
deductibles, co-payments, and restrictions on patient care," said Dr.
Ronald Ackermann, who worked on the study with Carroll. "More and more,
physicians are turning to national health insurance as a solution to