Saturday, October 25, 2008

Pennsylvania Doctors Running from Obama, Clinton, Rendell

I was wondering why there were so few young doctors in my home town in Pennsylvania until I read a Wall Street Journal article entitled "Pennsylvania is Driving Its Doctors Away" by Frederic Jarrett. Jarrett points out some startling bad news. It seems that Governor Rendell, who once supported lessening the insurance burden on Pennsylvania physicians, is now toadying up to Obama in the hope of getting a job. The photo of the grinning trio above should tip you off that something fishy is in the works. Jarrett says it's because Rendell wants to divert funds originally intended to protect PA Doctors from outrageous malpractice insurance premiums and use the money to expand Medicaid coverage.

It's a really whackjob idea to expand the pool of medicaid coverage patients who must beg for treatment amidst a diminishing pool of doctors who feel the need to flee the state. Here's some of what Jarett points out:

The state Department of Health reported earlier this year that the number of practicing physicians in Pennsylvania is down 6% from a few years ago.

Younger doctors just are not as willing to settle down in a state where liability payouts are twice the national average and physician income is 44th out of the 50 states.

Today, about 7%-9% of PA doctors are under 35. A few years ago, the number was 15%.

In some specialties, more than 40% of the practicing physicians are more than 50 years old.

Less than 80% of physicians with active licenses are engaged in patient care.

Newly minted doctors educated here are setting up their practices elsewhere. In 1992, 60% of residents stayed in Pennsylvania when they finished their training. Now only 20% do so.

What will Obama, Hillary, and Rendell dream up next? A cabinet level agency (comprised of lawyers like Obama, Clinton, and Rendell) to administer the millions in tort revenues sucked out of the blood of Pennsylvania physicians? Of course, if you earn three times the poverty level at your job, you will have to get your own medical insurance and vist your doctor who probably moved to a state like New Hampshire where doctors are respected and appreciated.

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