I wrote in my journal a while ago that I thought people were generally idiots. I think this is becoming truer every day. It must be the residual effects of the substandard education system here accumulating. The current hub-bub about the current healthcare/healthplan crisis makes this painfully evident. You have people showing up in town halls spouting off about things they know nothing about. You have people showing up with pictures of Obama made up to look like Hitler (Godwin's Law in real life!). You have people showing up with assault rifles for Pete's sake! Some of the more level-headed idiots start their comments off with things like "Well, I'm not an expert but..." or "I'm not a doctor but I think that..." and then they proceed to tell about how granny is going to be executed by death squads or that they won't be able to see their own doctors anymore. Sheer madness! Doesn't anyone think critically anymore?
I also recently read an article about a primary care physician explaining why he hates his job. It basically amounted to getting paid peanuts for trying to save the healthcare system tens of thousands of dollars... and this is just one guy. Hmmm.... more work for less money, but more frustration? No wonder there's a primary care shortage! Someone in the comments section of that article posted something to the effect of "Quit yer bitchin'! There's people out there that's makin' just minimum wage or worse, unemployed." Point taken, good sir. However, do you really think that a doctor, who excelled in high school, college, paid hundreds of thousands of dollar to be in medical school, and then went on to make $6-7 an hour as a resident for the next 3-7 years (doing and important job, no less) doesn't deserve a good living? I mean, sure there are people in minimum wage jobs, but are you really equating a burger flipper to a doctor? I like my burgers, don't get me wrong, but I still think a doctor is a bit more important to society than the guy manning the fryolater. Don't forget, that these doctors have student loan payments upwards of $2000 per month. Don't forget they have to pay malpractice insurance premiums on top of that. You can go head and subtract a good $40-50k from a doctor's salary already. Oh yeah, did I mention that doctor's get bumped up to a higher tax bracket so a lot of the tax breaks disappear? Did I mention they don't make enough money to commit what is essentially tax evasion like the uber-rich? Frankly, people that are criticizing doctors need to drink a great big mug of STFU.
Penultimately, I've heard talk about replacing doctors with nurse practitioners or something to that effect, since then you'll need to just pay a nurse's salary not a doctor's. Remember that expensive malpractice insurance premium? Guess who's going to have to cover that when you put the nurses in charge? You think they're going to settle for a paycut to work more hours? At best they may make a little more, but they'll still be working their butts off. Nevermind they receive less medical training and run the risk being sued into oblivion. You think healthcare costs are going to go down then? Better lay off the whippets, duuuuude.
Lastly, I've heard that doctors can spend up to the 50% of their time dealing with insurance companies. Wouldn't you like your 10-15 minute visit to be 20-30 minutes? Maybe we should line up the insurance execs against the wall. They recently testified in congress they would still continue denying people's claims based on past medical history, no matter how absurd. A recent "This American Life" podcast had a nurse with a nasty, invasive breast cancer. A day or two before the surgery, the insurance company said they wouldn't pay because a dermatology report had something in it. Pre-existing medical condition = no surgery for you. Nevermind that dermatologist report contained a case of acne. Nevermind the fact that the dermatologist himself begged the company not to deny her the surgery based on acne. Nevermind the fact that acne has nothing to do with breast cancer.
What's so bad about "socialized" medicine again? P.S. Check out single-payer healthcare.