A Doctor's Health Care proposal: Doctors Should Pay Back the Tax Payer

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Ben Cohen
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By Ben Cohen

An interesting proposal from a Daily Banter reader on how Doctors who benefit from socialized education can pay back the tax payer:

For full disclosure, for
going on thirteen years now, I have provided psychological services in nursing
homes; most of my reimbursment is Medicare/Medicaid, with perhaps 15% having a
secondary insurance. My reimbursement rate is about 55% of what my
colleagues in traditional private practice make; I still make a good living, and
I love my work. So, here is my proposal to spread the love:

How would it be unfair to ask
health care provider’s whose education has been subsidized by the tax payer, to
pay the tax payer back by being required to provide basic services to Medicare
and Medicade recipients?Why would
that be unfair?(The example is
regarding physicians, but the same argument applies to dentists, psychologists,
clinical social workers, etc.)

Every physician, whether s/he is
a psychiatrist, neurologist, plastic surgeon, gynecologist, gastro-enterologist,
and so on, is trained in providing basic health care.They all know how to do a history and
physical, treat strep, diagnose appendicitis; they all know how to provide basic
heath care.So how could it be
unfair to require every physician trained at a state-based school, wherein the
taxpayer paid for half of their medical education, to carry a case-load of, say
40 Medicare/Medicaid patients for whom they are responsible for providing basic
health care; they would be reimbursed at those rates, and we are talking about
perhaps half a day of service every two weeks.Again, how could this be unfair?

Let us not forget those
physicians whose stipend in residency was paid by the taxpayer; why should they
not also pay the taxpayer back by being required to have a case-load of
Medicare/Medicaid?

And again, this would apply to
all health care providers whose education/internship/residency was afforded or
subsidized by the taxpayer.

Their
argument is they would "lose" money. Well, no, they would merely not make
as much. Those are different. (Took me a long time to understand
that when a business man said he would lose money on the deal that usually meant
he would just not make as much profit.)

So, for
what it is worth.