Many believe doctors make a ton of money, and I agree being a doctor I do get paid well, but I promise you that I would never have chosen to give up 12 years of my life if I also did not get reimbursed well for my effort. Many of you talk about retiring in their 30s while many physicians start $300k in debt get their first legitimate paycheck in their 30s. Also, because of our progressive tax system a doctor making $200k a year does not really make 4x as much as a person making $50k. Keep in mind doctors pay much much more in taxes, do not get any of the tax deductions, and need to pay a a significant amount of money to keep and renew their license. Not to mention most physicians work well over 40 hours a week as well as take call working overnights. In all honesty the physician deserves to be paid a reasonable amount for the work they do. So I say fuck you to anyone who thinks I don't serve my income. Especially when I save the life of someone you care about. Fuck you for demanding that I bust my ass for so may years and then you are willing to just screw me over and not allow me to make the living I was promised which BTW is already lower than what was promised. And if you think we can make more doctors, maybe you are right, but how many bright people will choose other professions? Instead of getting America's brightest, we will get average providers with an average skill set. Primary care doctors make a fraction of what they used to 15-20 years ago, and guess what? We have a shortage of primary care doctors. The market will always dictate what professions bright young people will go to. I'm okay with being paid less, but tax me less, reimburse me for my school debt, give me a 9-5 job with no call or no overnights, and don't put me at risk of a lawsuit. I will be thrilled to make less money then.
I think people just don't understand that we have X dollars, and with these X dollars we can provide healthcare. We want private rooms, with good meals and cable television. We want to be seen within 20 minutes of arriving and we want the answer within 3 hours. We want CTs and MRIs. We want the most cutting edge robotics to do our surgeries. We want to keep some of our really sick elderly alive despite the fact they have no idea who they are and haven't gotten out of bed in months or years. We want the latest and greatest drugs but without any side effects. Well, we can't have it all. Some of that stuff needs to be rationed or we will continue paying more and more for it. We can tax those making more money all day long, but our desire for the best and most cutting edge is unlimited while the amount able to be taxed is finite.
The insurance companies are winning. They have completely distracted us. Instead of having a real discussion about cost we fight about who will pay for healthcare. Even when we agree that cost needs to be the main topic we jump to "we need a single payer." Again, that goes back to who will pay and does not talk about cost. Even if we go to single payer, we will still need to decide how to ration those healthcare dollars to provide the most efficient medicine.
BTW, I am not against the single payer model. Though I worry it may be something similar to the VA which has some major rationing of care. Interestingly I find that they spend an exorbitant of money on the latest drugs when lower cost options that are just as good are available. The other extreme is Medicaid which currently pays less than what it costs to take care of a patient. Medicare reimburses better but that is only for 65 and over.