KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Poll: Majority Of Doctors Support Public Option

A new nationwide poll found that a large majority of doctors support a public option.

"Most doctors - 63 percent - say they favor giving patients a choice that would include both public and private insurance," NPR reports. "In addition, another 10 percent of doctors say they favor a public option only; they'd like to see a single-payer health care system. Together, the two groups add up to 73 percent." The researchers found strong support among all types of doctors: primary care providers, specialists, both urban and rural doctors and among members of the American Medical Association, which has opposed the public option. The survey was published by the New England Journal of Medicine.

Dr. Salomeh Keyhani, one of the researchers, says doctors already have experience with government-run health care, with Medicare. "And she says the survey shows that, overall, they like it." Keyhani adds that "physicians have sort of signaled that a public option that's similar in design to Medicare would be a good way of ensuring patients get the care that they need" (Shapiro, 9/14). 

Meanwhile, the Austin American-Statesman reports that the Texas Medical Association, "the state's largest doctor's organization," is mounting a campaign in support of health care reform, but with reservations. The association is "one of the latest health care industry groups voicing support for health care reform on the one hand and then picking at details they dislike on the other." The campaign includes "posters, brochures and lapel stickers that say 'Slow Down,' 'Wrong Way,' and 'Me and my doctor, we know best on health care reform'" (Roser, 9/15).

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