Originally Posted by amancuso
So you're saying Doctors don't really care to provide good health care unless they are paid top dollar?
Yes. Altruism is valued, but let's face it: doctors are not in medicine to be paid peanuts. The reason that our medical institutions (hospitals, research centers, etc.) are so highly valued and ranked in the world is due to the talent that we attract. That talent is due to a combination of government funding, strong patent laws (you can profit off your innovations), and relatively high pay for medical professionals.
Medicine cannot be practiced according to a script or a set of explicit guidelines, contrary to public opinion. It is an art form that requires a combination of investigative skills, large pool of scientific/medical knowledge, and experience.
Originally Posted by 11Series
Wouldn't it be easier to fix this root problem with the spiraling cost of medical education, than to have to endure ever-ballooning, spiraling healthcare costs in an attempt to handle the problem much later?
Having healthcare costs cover the problem of spiraling med school costs is like coming up with an expensive advanced solution to save millions of children from the brink of death due to late stages of Scurvy, instead of just making sure kids got enough vitamin C, so they never got Scurvy in the first place.
You're right, except that the spiraling cost of medical education is NOT a root cause of healthcare costs. A simple analysis of healthcare costs indicates that physician pay accounts for ~20% or less of the total increase in healthcare costs per year. If you cut physician pay 10-20% (and I realize you didn't advocate this, but it's a common argument out there in the public today), guess what happens? You hardly make a dent in healthcare expenditures (2-4% of the total cost).
And in doing so, you decrease physician reimbursements on average by $15-30k per year. This has very significant implications on hiring physicians in the future, and continuing to attract the best and brightest to the field of medicine.
Medical education costs do need to be controlled, but not at the expense of physician reimbursement. And we need to tailor it accordingly. We need to subsidize fields like family practice and OB-GYN, which fewer and fewer American medical graduates choose today. Tort reform needs to take place as well, as it is contributing to the decline of Obstetricians/Gynecologists and their practices.
PS - I still owe you a reply in the other thread on the debt ceiling. I've been rather busy lately, but I'll jump in when I get a chance.