With many negative aspects of the PPACA now coming to light, doctors are now beginning to see the impact on their practices and are getting engaged.(Read the full text of "Sally Pipes on doctors, students, and activism".)
I think it is important to note that America does not have a free market in its health care system today. Fifty percent of health care is in the hands of government through Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP, and the VA system. It does concern me greatly that a growing number of doctors in the academy and hospitals favor a single-payer system. The medical schools where our young students are training for a future in medicine either as primary care doctors or specialists are being indoctrinated by their professors who constantly tell them that a government-run system would bring about affordable, accessible, quality care for all.
It was this realization in 2008 that medical school students were not hearing any alternative to this type of system that emboldened me to found the Benjamin Rush Society. It is patterned after the Federalist Society but for medical students and doctors instead of law students and lawyers. It is a chapter based organization with affiliates at over 20 medical schools around the country—from Duke to Harvard; from Stanford to George Washington University. The chapters hold debates and seminars on issues of importance on issues that should be important to them. Topics range from "How do you achieve affordable, accessible, quality health care?" to "Are pharmaceuticals too expensive?" to "Is universal coverage the responsibility of the federal government?" Our goal is to have a chapter at every medical school in the nation.
These debates are very informative for students. We find that about 65 percent of students in the pre-vote tend to support a greater role for government. Following the debate, some gains have been made, with about 60 percent supporting our position. There is still much to be done if we are going to save a health care system that empowers doctors and patients. It is worrying that 49 percent of newly graduating specialists are now working for hospitals rather than going into private practice. In recent polls, 45 percent of doctors have said that unless ObamaCare is repealed, they will seriously consider getting out of the practice of medicine. This has serious implications for all of us who will at some point need medical care.
Pipes is absolutely correct. The key to the health care debate will be education -- of doctors, medical students, and patients. Activists like Sally Pipes deserve tremendous credit for their work in this arena.