Doctors, like journalists, usually run in herds. Get a writer – “journalist” is a little quaint – contributing to The Washington Post, and they are more likely than not to produce work complimentary toward, or at the very least uncritical of any government-enlarging law. So when Aaron Blake writes a column pointing out that Republican doctors are far more likely to criticize the ACA, his purpose is to indirectly defend it by suggesting partisanship as the real reason for opposition. I’m not defending the GOP, but it isn’t tough to read between the lines when you know who manufactures the blinds.
A writer contributing to a left-leaning newspaper quotes a study from the left-leaning Kaiser Family Foundation, commenting on the opinions of a famously herded group (doctors) is going to draw acceptable conclusions, nothing new here. Any survey of 1,624 primary care physicians would have to adjust for the known percentage suffering from Stockholm syndrome to even take a swing at validity.
- 52% of doctors oppose the ACA (87% are Republican), and 48% support it (87% are Democrat). Independents oppose the ACA by 58%.
- More worrisome, 60% of doctors said the their ability to provide care under the ACA has”stayed about the same.”
So (1) the law did not improve an already lousy situation, and (2) does not take into account the obvious, ominous trends in the ACA. But then a paragraph down, the writer and study self-contradict, “[Doctors] say, narrowly, that it has hurt the level of care their patients receive, 25-18.”
But Blake says, “And by and large, doctors say the law has had very little effect on their ability to provide care.” So a majority of surveyed physicians said simultaneously that under the ACA, their patients’ care has been harmed, but the law has not affected their ability to provide care. What the hell does that mean?
- Doc’s surveyed say that the ACA has improved access to insurance 48-24%.
- And they say that the ACA’s Medicaid expansion is a positive 36-23%.
Why would a majority of surveyed physicians applaud the ACA’s expansion of coverage – could they not see even in 2015 when this was done that costs would zoom and competition would constrict? Why would a majority of physicians applaud Medicaid expansion, knowing that far from being self-funding, it is a self-growing program that abuses both taxpayers and many of the beneficiaries? And that to me is the real takeaway from this article.
At least 20% of those surveyed thought the ACA a positive, and a majority of those surveyed want more government medicine. The sad truth about this profession is that a great many of us like to practice altruism with other people’s money, showing compensated compassion for the growing numbers of people unable to afford insurance which costs are exploding thanks to the program that too many of these doctors and patients blindly supported. Yes, I realize that Medicaid pays squat, but doesn’t make its physician-advocates morally superior. It makes them ripe for the total nationalizing of the health care system when the ACA collapses on its own lies.Tweet