Saturday, August 1, 2009

Affordable Health Care-Supply and Demand

Interesting that the right wing, which screams about letting the free market rule, and the left wing, which is willing to learn from other countries (why do they hate America?), both neglect to point out one obvious problem in American health care.
The AMA keeps the supply of doctors low, so that their pay will be high. This is a restriction of the free market, right wingers! If Cuba can have a doctor for every neighborhood, why can't we, left wingers?

I mentioned this to my co-worker the other day. He is a Syrian who went to medical school in France and then moved here for the high pay. He pointed out that the US imports 1/3 of its doctors, using other country's resources for their education and then enticing them here with high salaries, although his education didn't cost anywhere near what American medical schools cost. (The American doctors I work with frequently joined the military to save themselves from $300,000+ tuition costs). He said that they are tested more extensively than US doctors, at their own expense. And on Monday, his day off, he got 4 calls from physician recruiters.

We don't have enough doctors. The ones we have are putting in 12 to 16 hour shifts. In a country of 300 million people, you can't tell me that we don't have enough intelligent people to train as doctors.

Or dentists. Do you know how many people come to the ER for dental problems? We don't do dentristy, but people with rotting teeth are in misery.

Not many dentists take Medicaid, and uninsured people are just screwed.

Many Americans have bad teeth, especially meth addicts. Their teeth just rot out of their heads. And they have no money. Dentists seem to be pretty cold blooded. If you don't have cash, forget it.

Let's have enough doctors and dentists that there is an ample supply, and they see people for reasonable fees. It's only right.

1 comment:

David G said...

We in Australia have a similar problem. Doctors and dentists restrict their numbers to ensure enjoyment of the good life.

Countries like Cuba and Russia don't have such problems and their citizens can get easy, quick access to medical care at affordable prices.

Ah, the joys of capitalism!