Surveys Find Doctors Support Health Care Reform But Vary on Public Option and Private Insurance

Recent studies found that doctors have mixed views about reforming the health care system. A survey published by Investors Business Daily (IBD) found that 65% of physicians surveyed oppose the proposed government health care system reform plan.   Seventy-two percent (72% ) disagree with whether proposed legislation can cover 47 million more people with better quality at lower cost.  The study by IBD/TIPP  also found that 45% of physicians would consider quitting if Congress passed health care system reform legislation now under consideration. 

Read the survey report at:

A study funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) found that a majority of physicians would support a health care system reform plan that includes a public option and traditional private insurance. The study surveyed 2,130 physicians nationwide.  Sixty-three percent (63%) supported a plan that contained a public and private alternative.  Twenty-seven percent (27%) favored a private-only option that would provide subsidies for low-income individuals to purchase insurance.  The survey found that 58% supported expanding Medicare eligibility to those between the ages of 55 and 64.  (Modern Physician, 9-14-09)

Read more about the survey and its results at

The NCMS would like to know how North Carolina physicians feel about these proposals. Click the COMMENT button to express your views on these important health care system reform issues.

On Thursday, NCMS EVP, CEO Robert W. Seligson talked about health care system reform and the NEJM story with anchor Scott Fitzgerald on New-Talk 680 AM WPTF in Raleigh.  Hear the interview at:

On Thursday morning, NCMS general counsel Stephen W. Keene participated in a panel discussion on health system reform sponsored by Queens University and the Charlotte Business Journal. Other panelists were Jamal Jones, director of government relations for NCHA, Steve Spradling, director of compensation and benefits for EnPro Industries, Josh Martin, heath policy director for Senator Richard Burr, and Michelle Adams, senior legislative assistant for Senator Kay Hagan.

 NCMS President Albert J. Osbahr, MD, was featured in an article about health care reform in the Burlington Times-News on Sunday, September 13, 2009, in an article by Keren Rivas, “A hard diagnosis.”  Read the article at:

Read the NCMS Guiding Principles for Health Care System Reform and find other resources at

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  • State and local governments have regulated and subsidized the free market out of medical care delivery in the U.S., and huge CEO pay, increase in cost to physicians, hospitals, and patients is a result. The apparent failure of ClintonCare actually resulted in the prevalence of Clinton-style managed care with increased govt. regs and increased public medical spending. So more government is not the answer. The price system is the most efficient and fare way ever devised to distribute limited resources, this side of heaven. I have been to other countries, and socialism leads to plenty for the few and tyranny for the many. The big persona Stephen Hawking may be fine in England, but my 94 y.o. grandmother would never have received her life-saving cardiac care 4 years ago (and happily counting!).
    Regarding the NEJM study; their political bias has always been patently apparent. One commenter here wants a “truly democratic system”, hypocritically showing that he seems to feel empowered to bring his politics into the debate but not others. He also fails to recognize the simple fact that the United States is a representative republic, not a democracy, which the Framers abhorred.

  • Don Chaplin, MD

    The Investor Business Daily is the same business oriented newspaper in a July 31 editorial to have claimed that Stephen Hawking “wouldn’t have a chance in the U.K., where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless.”
    Dr.Hawking was born and lives in England, and receives his medical care from the British National Health Service.
    Hawking responded to the editorial by saying: “I wouldn’t be here today if it were not for the NHS… I have received a large amount of high-quality treatment without which I would not have survived.”
    Does anyone think Dr. Hawking would be considered a liability by private USA insurance plans?

  • Steve Wall

    As a pediatrician in rural NC I see a lot of medicaid , a lot of schip (health choice), a lot of private insurance and a lot of non insured who we discount severely. Medicaid gives us the least hassle both as far as payment and questioning what I do. It does pay less in certain categories but not bad on prevention! Single payer would make our office work better and create a truly democratic system. We are so far behind other developed countries in terms of prevention and primary care it is shameful.

  • Mark Heffington

    The Investors Business Daily poll is specious at best. The methodology is not revealed, and the questions are biased. I am disappointed to see it quoted here as if it deserved the same attention (or more, given its lead position in this article) as the NEJM article.
    A March 2008 Annals of Internal Medicine study showed that 59% of US physicians favor national health insurance.
    As I enter my 28th year of family medicine practice, I am more convinced every year that with all its flaws, nationalized health INSURANCE (single payer)is our best hope for providing the best care to the most people.

  • Bill Bowman

    My personal feeling is that a single payer system would be best for patients anp probably for doctor. I feel strongly that a “reform” bill which widens coverage solely through private insurance is likely to be far less effective in reducing costs and truly increasing access to care than a bill which contains a public option.

  • Paul Cook

    I read the NEJM article. I completely support the public option, and think that we (and our patients) would be a lot better off without private insurance companies. The CEO’s of these companies are making millions per year by denying claims to needy people. This is certainly unethical and should be illegal. The public option would level the playing field and make the private companies more accountable to patients and to doctors.