A new poll from Investor’s Business Daily found that 65% if physicians oppose the “proposed healthcare plan”, 45% would “consider leaving [their] practice or taking an early retirement, and 71% believe the government is not able to cover 47 million more people with lower costs and better care.

One caveat to this poll, it was taken by mail, which is typically a less reliable source and IBD did not disclose the total number or distribution of respondents.

However, consider the ramifications of this data. If you think socializing healthcare with the current shortage in some areas of doctors and nurses would work, imagine if even 20% of doctors left their practice early. This would cripple healthcare in the United States. Our data would begin to look like Europe and Canada in this comparison:

Dr. Ted Epperly, also quoted in the IBD article, is president of the American Academy of Family Physicians. He may have put it best when he said: “It’s like giving everyone free bus passes, but there are only two buses”.
IBD followed up this poll with some additional data.

Hope for a surge in new doctors may be misplaced. A recent study from the Association of American Medical Colleges found steadily declining enrollment in medical schools since 1980.

The study found that, just with current patient demand, the U.S. will have 159,000 fewer doctors than it needs by 2025. Unless corrected, that would make some sort of medical rationing or long waiting lists almost mandatory

IBD also demonstrated this issue in practice:

On Monday came word from the Massachusetts Medical Society — a group representing physicians in a state that has implemented an overhaul similar to that under consideration in Washington — that doctor shortages remain a growing problem.

Even if the current number of doctors stayed the same, is it in any way reasonable to expect that by adding 47 million people, or 15% (47MM/307MM), will result in anything but poorer care, higher costs or rationing? You simply cannot have it both ways.

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