Thursday, July 31, 2008

Ms. Think on Paying Doctors

Lawyer-blogger Ms. Think has another medically-related post out, "Pay Doctors, Don't Enslave Them".

She cites a NY Times article about dermatologists responding to natural economic incentives, and concludes:
...[I]t gives me hope that we're getting to the day when people accept the fact that if you want to voluntarily entice a human being to provide you with a service, you have to pay them for it. When that day comes, I'll feel more secure that when I need a doctor, I'll be able to find one who's willing to do business with me.

There's no solution to this problem if you're a universal health care statist -- except open advocacy of enslaving doctors. There are only two ways to get dermatologists to stop preferential treatment of cosmetics patients -- you're either going to pay them more to treat sick patients or you're going to punish them for treating cosmetics patients. If you're for universal health care, you can't openly advocate anything that will make the system more expensive to taxpayers. If you force insurers to pay more, you'll have to let them raise premiums or you'll have spend more tax dollars subsidizing dermatology. That's a no-no. So all you're left with is: an open call to punish dermatologists who preferentially treat cosmetic patients. Which will lead to an exodus from dermatology that could only be stopped by somehow forcing doctors to become and remain dermatologists.

Which will show people just exactly why restricting doctors' freedom must inevitably lead to decreased access to medical care.
Thank you, Paula!