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Physicians Support Legislation Creating National Health Insurance Program

Armen Hareyan's picture

About 59%of U.S.physicians support legislation that would establish a national health insuranceprogram, and 32% oppose such a system, according to a survey published onMonday in the Annals of Internal Medicine, Reuters reports. For the study, lead author AaronCarroll of the Indiana University School ofMedicine andcolleagues surveyed more than 2,000 physicians. Researchers said they believethe survey was representative of the 800,000 physicians nationwide.

The survey examined support for national health insurance by specialty, findingsupport among 83% of psychiatrists, 69% of emergency medicine specialists, 65%of pediatricians, 64% of internists, 60% of family care physicians and 55% ofgeneral surgeons. A survey in 2002 found that 49% of physicians supportednational health insurance and 40% opposed it (Fox, Reuters, 3/31).

Carroll said, "Conventional wisdom says that because there are a lot ofmedical specialty groups that don't support national health insurance, thatdoctors are not in favor," adding, "But almost twice as many doctorssupport it as oppose it" (Appleby, USAToday, 4/1). Ronald Ackermann, who also worked on the survey, said,"Across the board, more physicians feel that our fragmented and for-profitinsurance system is obstructing good patient care, and a majority now supportnational insurance as the remedy" (Reuters, 3/31).

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