Majority of Physicians Back National Health Insurance, Survey Finds
About 59% of U.S. physicians support legislation that would establish a national health insurance program, and 32% oppose such a system, according to a survey published on Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine, Reuters reports.
For the study, lead author Aaron Carroll of the Indiana University School of Medicine and colleagues surveyed more than 2,000 physicians. Researchers said they believe the survey was representative of the 800,000 physicians nationwide.
The survey found that 83% of psychiatrists, 69% of emergency medicine specialists, 65% of pediatricians, 64% of internists, 60% of family care physicians and 55% of general surgeons support national health insurance. A survey in 2002 found that 49% of physicians supported national health insurance and 40% opposed it (Fox, Reuters, 3/31).
Carroll said, "Conventional wisdom says that because there are a lot of medical specialty groups that don't support national health insurance, that doctors are not in favor," adding, "But almost twice as many doctors support it as oppose it" (Appleby, USA Today, 4/1).
Ronald Ackermann, who also worked on the survey, said, "Across the board, more physicians feel that our fragmented and for-profit insurance system is obstructing good patient care, and a majority now support national insurance as the remedy" (Reuters, 3/31).