Kevin, M.D. makes a key point today in the discussion about the reality of implementing universal/single-payer health care in the United States:
2) My take on Massachusetts’ Commonwealth Care considering cutting physician reimbursements: it demonstrates a profound of lack of insight by the politicians trying to fix health care. Unbelievably, this plan proposes year-to-year reimbursement increases that lag even Medicaid. Good luck finding any doctor accepting Commonwealth Care, once again making universal coverage useless without physician access.
Since the laws of economics cannot be altered, the only long-term solutions to the inevitable physician shortage from socialized medicine are forced-service or higher taxes to provide physicians with reimbursements close enough to a market wage for these intelligent, skilled individuals to choose to remain in medicine. Since the former solution requires either a violation or revocation of the 13th Amendment, I’m guessing politicians will rely on the latter. (Not a given, though.) That leaves only the latter, higher taxes. Inevitably, some politician(s) will suggest imposing user fees on patients (i.e. taxpayers), but that only begs the question of why not leave the entire system to the market to more efficiently and effectively allocate limited resources. Neither ignorance is justifiable as policy.
When politicians offer their rainbows and puppies version of single-payer financing, they lie.