My wife is a practicing dermatologist. Although it may be crazy, we’re actually in the process of opening a new micro practice. From our perspective, one of our biggest fears is that the government will mandate physicians accept any/all government sponsored insurance under threat of losing or revoking medical licenses. There may not be an option out. I believe New York State does this already. If that’s the case, our new business won’t last long. As it is margins for small practices are very tight and overhead is unbelievable high. Add even more complicated medical billing and reduced physician compensation and I don’t see how any private practices will survive. Maybe that’s the plan.
The government knows most physicians have to much time invested in their education and care too much about their patients to simply walk away. I believe that’s why Medicare has continued to cut or keep static their rates. Physician compensation will be a large target for cuts. I guess eight to twelve years of post graduate education and training don’t deserve high compensation. It’s shocking that most people don’t realize how long it takes, how much work it is, and how expensive it is to become a licensed practicing physician.
The worst part about all of this is the feeling of helplessness. The politicians know the people don’t want this, but they’re going to jam it down anyway. We’ve donated to Reverse the Vote, and my wife has attended and spoken at any local town hall meeting that comes around, but it seems like none of it matters. Maybe the fickle politicians will yet respond to falling approval ratings and negative healthcare polling, but I feel like the power grab temptation is just too much to resist.