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Let’s get medical

The doctor fix did not get re-instated and now doctors are mad. See here.

21.3% reduction in pay for doctors! The article talks about how doctors are going to stop seeing Medicare patients and if you google this happening, you’ll even see find suggestions that doctors go on strike!

For Clarity: I can’t figure out by what they mean when they say “Reduction in pay for doctors”. I’m going to assume they mean reduction in Medicare payouts, not overall doctor pay. Since the entire gammut of governmental payouts to doctors is only 27.8% of doctor income, I find it impossible to believe that the government is only going to pay like 6% now.

Anyhow, on with the show. First some setup:

Say you make $1000 a week, and you’ve been making that for years. Suddenly, you only make $800 a week for some reason (I work with people who experience this when they regularly work overtime and then don’t for a week or two).

Your whole lifestyle changes. As you get used to that $1000 you begin living in a way that requires that $1000 and $800 is a hardship. These are just arbitrary numbers, but the point is that when your income drops by 20% it sucks.

Now… back to why doctors won’t “quit Medicare”:

According to the ever dubious Wikipedia, Government programs account for 27.8% of payment. So, here’s the issue from a doctor’s point of view:

As it is now:

  • Non-Governmental Payments: 72.2 %
  • Governmental Payments: 27.8%
  • Total: 100% compared to today

Option one – go on strike:

  • Non-Governmental Payments: 72.2%
  • Governmental Payments: 0%
  • Total: 72.2% compared to today

Option Two – Not going on strike:

  • Non-Governmental Payments: 72.2%
  • Governmental Payments: 21.879%
  • Total: 94.079% compared to today


Now, I’m not a doctor or anything, but I’d rather take an overall pay cut of 5.921% rather than 27.8%. This is why doctors won’t strike, or if they do it won’t be for long.

On the other hand – instead of striking, some doctors could cut some corners, put strain on suppliers to offer products more cheaply, and take in more Medicare patients; thus, they actually increase their income. You know… if they asked a business professional what to do.

Categories: Politics
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