A Majority of Doctors Want You to Have a Public Option -- So What's the Hold-Up?

As we know, the Baucus draft to be released today will not include a public option, making it the only bill out of the five in the Congress not to have one. On this basis Olympia Snowe wants it off the table. On her side are Republicans, a few ConservaDems without the courage to admit their opposition and prefer to say "it doesn't have the votes," insurance companies and teabaggers. On the side of the public option are Tom Harkin, a majority of the House, a majority of the Senate, the President, four committees in the Congress, the wide majority of Americans, states as conservative as Arkansas, and doctors (h/t):


A RWJF survey summarized in the September 14, 2009 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine shows that 62.9 percent of physicians nationwide support proposals to expand health care coverage that include both public and private insurance options—where people under the age of 65 would have the choice of enrolling in a new public health insurance plan (like Medicare) or in private plans. The survey shows that just 27.3 percent of physicians support a new program that does not include a public option and instead provides subsidies for low-income people to purchase private insurance. Only 9.6 percent of doctors nationwide support a system where a Medicare-like public program is created in lieu of any private insurance. A majority of physicians (58%) also support expanding Medicare eligibility to those between the ages of 55 and 64.

In every region of the country, a majority of physicians supported a combination of public and private options, as did physicians who identified themselves as primary care providers, surgeons, or other medical subspecialists. Among those who identified themselves as members of the American Medical Association, 62.2 percent favored both the public and private options.

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