President Obama has repeatedly said that medical professionals, including doctors, support his vision of health care. A recent Investor’s Business Daily poll challenges that assertion. The IBD/TIPP Poll randomly surveyed 1,376 practicing physicians across the country and discovered that 65 percent of them oppose Obamacare. Once again Obama is at odds with the facts. Some might describe this apparent dichotomy with stronger words, but since it seems only Obama and his team have the moral prerogative to characterize “misrepresentations” as “lies,” we will leave it at that. The numbers speak for themselves.
More alarming is that 45 percent of practicing physicians said they would consider leaving their practice or retiring early if H.R. 3200 passes. This means that as many as 360,000 of our nation’s 800,000 practicing physicians might leave the medical field — at a time when a physician shortage already exists. And Obamacare will increase the number of patients and thus increase demand for services. The result will be diminished access, long waiting times, and rationed care.
Obviously, not every physician who said they might retire actually will. Still, when faced with the inevitable pay cuts, increasing bureaucracy, diminishing autonomy, and declining job satisfaction under Obamacare, many will call it quits. In addition, talented young minds will be dissuaded from entering the field and practicing medicine in the first place. It’s a prescription for disaster, and these shocking numbers indicate that under Obamacare, the system might implode sooner than critics previously thought. Perhaps one of the five Sunday-morning political talk shows that have scheduled Mr. Obama as a guest this weekend will inquire about these new poll numbers, which seem to directly dispute Obama’s “if you like your doctor” mantra — though I would not hold my breath.
In fairness to Obama, it should be noted that while America’s hard-working doctors do not support Obamacare, the American Medical Association, the largest physician organization, has pledged support for the measure. Once again Obama has found himself on the side of powerful special interests fighting hard against the best interests of John Q. Public — and now against those of John Q. Doctor as well.
Whether you agree or disagree with Obama, like or dislike him, you have to give the president credit for consistency in never letting facts get in the way of his agenda.
– Jason D. Fodeman, M.D., is a former health-policy fellow at The Heritage Foundation.