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indo

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Read the thread about the babylonians returning in the General Residency forum. It is a decent discussion. Well, it was last time I looked at it. They could be throwing poo around by now.
 
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OncoCaP

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Hopefully we can be part of the decision process (through political organizations, lobbies, advocacy groups, etc.) and help push for a program that works well for us and our patients (and satisfies the various powers).
 

dutchman

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Whoever's in power and whatever the system, someone will find a way to screw us over.

This is why doctors need to start calling for a union now. Neither party is going to protect physicians' interests as well as an aggressive physicians' union will.
 

Church

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Yeah... because if nobody listens to us, we can just go on strike. Not.

Bottom line is, nobody will give 2 sh**s what we say (either med students or docs) because we're the evil money-making people.
 

TX_Longhorn

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This is why doctors need to start calling for a union now. Neither party is going to protect physicians' interests as well as an aggressive physicians' union will.

you know i keep wondering about that. where do we begin. i mean does this start with the AMA hiring some experts and recuitin member or would it have any role to play at all in unionizing the docs?

how do we start. anyone with any knowledge of the history of UAW, etc please chime in.
 

dutchman

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Yeah... because if nobody listens to us, we can just go on strike. Not.

Bottom line is, nobody will give 2 sh**s what we say (either med students or docs) because we're the evil money-making people.

Why not? For as long as we are going to keep referencing Europe as a measure of healthcare, let us remember that doctors do go on strike in Europe too.

BTW, no one gives 2 sh**s about you because you have no power. Get yourself some power an you will see the difference.
 

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This is why doctors need to start calling for a union now. Neither party is going to protect physicians' interests as well as an aggressive physicians' union will.

amen!
 

dutchman

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Just vote Republican. Problem solved.:)

No way is that going to solve the problem. Physicians could form unions and endorse different candidites like other unions do. Like I said, both parties will screw physicians If given a blank check without opposition.
 
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OncoCaP

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Why not? For as long as we are going to keep referencing Europe as a measure of healthcare, let us remember that doctors do go on strike in Europe too.

BTW, no one gives 2 sh**s about you because you have no power. Get yourself some power an you will see the difference.

Well, those European physicians are employees of the hospital, gov't etc.

Here in the U.S., you can't go on strike if you're an independent contractor (unless you are an employee) because you are your own boss legally (are you going to strike against yourself). Not only that you can't be in any supervisory role / management, and physicians are typically in some type of supervisory role. If independent contractors unite, they will be subject to anti-trust action. Employees of HMOs or groups would probably be ok (they could strike against the HMO, group, or hospital that they are employees of).

I'm for universal healthcare anyway (get rid of all health insurance companies ASAP). I'm also pro single-payer (expand Medicare to cover everyone, etc.) and insurance companies can only process paperwork for Medicare if the gov't chooses to contract out some of that work -- they can't legally offer their own plans. That's my preference anyway: just elect leaders who will gut the existing private health insurance system and make it illegal.
 

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Does anyone actually foresee physicians forming unions? I guess I'm a bit confused as to how European docs go on strike because doesn't that equate to lost lives? I'm a bit confused by the logistics of all of this...
 

OncoCaP

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Does anyone actually foresee physicians forming unions? I guess I'm a bit confused as to how European docs go on strike because doesn't that equate to lost lives? I'm a bit confused by the logistics of all of this...

We actually have some unions with physicians (and apparently residents?) in the U.S. To be a union member, you can't be a supervisor/manager and you must be an employee of whatever institution you want to bargain with. You can't be in charge of other people (nurses, etc.). So, if you are a gov't physician, you might be part of some union. In Europe their laws might be different from ours and in some countries they are gov't employees (like in the UK for example).

If I understand the Canadian system correctly, the physicians are part of a association (private, I think) that negotiates with the gov't on pay etc. -- not sure about this -- maybe a Canadian can fill us in on this. It would need to be legally established in the U.S. to have an association that sets physician pay to deal with anti-trust.

It's not trivial.
 

dutchman

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Well, those European physicians are employees of the hospital, gov't etc.

Here in the U.S., you can't go on strike if you're an independent contractor (unless you are an employee) because you are your own boss legally (are you going to strike against yourself). Not only that you can't be in any supervisory role / management, and physicians are typically in some type of supervisory role. If independent contractors unite, they will be subject to anti-trust action. Employees of HMOs or groups would probably be ok (they could strike against the HMO, group, or hospital that they are employees of).

I'm for universal healthcare anyway (get rid of all health insurance companies ASAP). I'm also pro single-payer (expand Medicare to cover everyone, etc.) and insurance companies can only process paperwork for Medicare if the gov't chooses to contract out some of that work -- they can't legally offer their own plans. That's my preference anyway: just elect leaders who will gut the existing private health insurance system and make it illegal.

All that stuff you are talking about only prevents physicians from negotiating pay. It does not prevent a union that could aggressively pursue physician interests. The advantage of such a union springing up right now is that--if we go to a universal coverage system with a single payer, then antitrust restrictions will vanish and physicians will already have an aggresive union willing to negotiate not just pay, but work conditions. You dont want a single payer system without a union, trust me. What stops them from leaving your malpractice insurance in the hands of the very evil insurance companies that you talk about while capping your income. That way, you end up with rising overhead and stagnant/declining income. Remember that politicians don't think past immediate gratification.

BTW, I am not pro or anti universal healthcare. What I am against is any system designed to screw doctors. That is why I think a union more aggresive than the AMA is necessary at this point.
 

OncoCaP

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All that stuff you are talking about only prevents physicians from negotiating pay. It does not prevent a union that could aggressively pursue physician interests. The advantage of such a union springing up right now is that--if we go to a universal coverage system with a single payer, then antitrust restrictions will vanish and physicians will already have an aggresive union willing to negotiate not just pay, but work conditions. You dont want a single payer system without a union, trust me. What stops them from leaving your malpractice insurance in the hands of the very evil insurance companies that you talk about while capping your income. That way, you end up with rising overhead and stagnant/declining income. Remember that politicians don't think past immediate gratification.

BTW, I am not pro or anti universal healthcare. What I am against is any system designed to screw doctors. That is why I think a union more aggresive than the AMA is necessary at this point.

I'm with you on having strong representation. Problem is that no one is going to want to pay for it (typically 10% of the paycheck) until it's needed. Physicians will just keep plugging away until their checks vanish. Suddenly they will wake up and run around and possibly do something. It's really hard to build a strong national organization without a lot of cash and motivation. Maybe I'm missing something, but right now our best bet is probably to work with the organizations that are going to be providing universal health care and make sure that physician pay is not capped, can be negotiated, etc.
 

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I'm with you on having strong representation. Problem is that no one is going to want to pay for it until it's needed. Physicians will just keep plugging away until their checks vanish. Suddenly they will wake up and run around and possibly do something. It's really hard to build a strong national organization without a lot of cash and motivation. Maybe I'm missing something, but right now our best bet is probably to work with the organizations that are going to be providing universal health care and make sure that physician pay is not capped, can be negotiated, etc.

Good point, and you need to recognize all the parties involved in this fight which will ultimately produce whatever universal healthcare sytem that we will go with:

-Politicians(heavyweights)
-Insurance companies(super heavyweights)
-HMOs(heavyweights)
-Pharmaceutical Cos(super heavyweights)
-Doctors(feather-weights)


Doctors cannot afford to go into the negotiating table with featherweight status, IMO it will be an easy knockout. That is why physicians need to start unionizing, they need to pay for the union now that they can still afford to pay anything. A union that can get physicians at least to heavyweight status will go a long way in preventing an impending gang rape.
 

OncoCaP

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Good point, and you need to recognize all the parties involved in this fight which will ultimately produce whatever universal healthcare sytem that we will go with:

-Politicians(heavyweights)
-Insurance companies(super heavyweights)
-HMOs(heavyweights)
-Pharmaceutical Cos(super heavyweights)
-Doctors(feather-weights)


Doctors cannot afford to go into the negotiating table with featherweight status, IMO it will be an easy knockout. That is why physicians need to start unionizing, they need to pay for the union now that they can still afford to pay anything. A union that can get physicians at least to heavyweight status will go along way in preventing an impending gang rape.

So tell me, why do you think that the AMA is so ineffective? Why can't it become a quasi-union/association until an actual union can represent us? Is it because physicians just can't organize well or is there some historical issue with the AMA? It just doesn't make sense to create another ineffective organization ... we need to understand our previous errors in this arena.
 

indo

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last time we voted for president people our age bitched the most but voted the least. It shows that bitching about politics is trendy and nobody really cares as long as their starbucks coffee is served within 3 minutes of their order.
 

OncoCaP

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last time we voted for president people our age bitched the most but voted the least. It shows that bitching about politics is trendy and nobody really cares as long as their starbucks coffee is served within 3 minutes of their order.

Seems like things are improving:

http://www.civicyouth.org/PopUps/Release_Turnout2004.pdf
Youth Turnout Up Sharply in 2004
4.6 Million More Young People Cast Votes Than in 2000
Youth Turnout Up by 9.3 Points
At least 20.9 million Americans under the age of 30 voted in 2004, an increase of 4.6 million
over 2000,1 and the turnout rate among these voters rose from about 42.3% to 51.6%, a sharp
rise of 9.3 percentage points, according to final national exit polls and an early tally of votes
cast. Youth voter turnout was especially high in the contested battleground states.
“This is phenomenal,” said CIRCLE Director William A. Galston. “It represents the highest youth
turnout in more than a decade, 4 percentage points higher than the previous peak year of
1992.”
Because young people participated in considerably larger numbers than they had in the past,
they kept pace with the higher turnout of Americans of all ages. Voters under the age of 30
constituted the same proportion of all voters as they did in 2000 (about 18%).
Young people voted at a much higher rate in contested, “battleground” states.2 In the ten most
contested states, youth turnout was 64%, up 13 percentage points from 2000.
 

dutchman

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So tell me, why do you think that the AMA is so ineffective? Why can't it become a quasi-union/association until an actual union can represent us? Is it because physicians just can't organize well or is there some historical issue with the AMA? It just doesn't make sense to create another ineffective organization ... we need to understand our previous errors in this arena.

Because they completely took strikes off the table while they fostered a culture of being scared to demand for things that protect physicians without hiding behind patient care. That is as simple as it gets. Like someone pointed out in another thread, strikes are like nuclear weapons. No one really wants to use them, but they will deter unnecessary aggression. If you however have to use them, then you will. A serious labor union will never handicap themselves by removing their ability to strike.

On the other hand, physicians willing to get back control of the profession could start getting more involved in the AMA and request the removal of policy H-405.988 which basically took strikes off the table. Outside of that, physicians might just need to form a new union(and even the AMA in 1997 encouraged the formation of a physicians union). I don't think it is too much to ask that physicians maintain control of their own profession without worrying about what the next crazy politician is going to do.
 
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OncoCaP

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Because they completely took strikes off the table while they fostered a culture of being scared to demand for things that protect physicians without hiding behind patient care. That is as simple as it gets. Like someone pointed out in another thread, strikes are like nuclear weapons. No one really wants to use them, but they will deter unnecessary aggression. If you however have to use them, then you will. A serious labor union will never handicap themselves by removing their ability to strike.

On the other hand, physicians willing to get back control of the profession could start getting more involved in the AMA and request the removal of policy H-405.988 which basically took strikes off the table. Outside of that, physicians might just need to form a new union(and even the AMA in 1997 encouraged the formation of a physicians union). I don't think it is too much to ask that physicians maintain control of their own profession without worrying about what the next crazy politician is going to do.

Physicians can go on strike ... if they are in demand. Here in Austin a few years back, some neurosurgeons either threatened or went on strike (called in sick or whatever) and the city was without neurosurgeons until they raised their pay to $1.5 million... It can be done.

Neurosurgeons, work stoppages, and the art of negotiation.
Surgical Neurology, Volume 59, Issue 5, Pages 437-438 (May 2003)
J. Ausman
Because of the rising malpractice premiums in the past few months, neurosurgeons in Pennsylvania decided to go on “strike.” At the last minute the new Governor promised that he would try to get the doctors more money to pay for their malpractice premiums. So, the doctors called off their work stoppage.
 

dutchman

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Physicians can go on strike ... if they are in demand. Here in Austin a few years back, some neurosurgeons either threatened or went on strike (called in sick or whatever) and the city was without neurosurgeons until they raised their pay to $1.5 million... It can be done.

Neurosurgeons, work stoppages, and the art of negotiation.
Surgical Neurology, Volume 59, Issue 5, Pages 437-438 (May 2003)
J. Ausman
Because of the rising malpractice premiums in the past few months, neurosurgeons in Pennsylvania decided to go on “strike.” At the last minute the new Governor promised that he would try to get the doctors more money to pay for their malpractice premiums. So, the doctors called off their work stoppage.


My point exact, now think of that nationally. That politician could have helped prior to the strike, but that is not how politics works. Sometimes you just have to get their attention.
 

OncoCaP

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My point exact, now think of that nationally. That politician could have helped prior to the strike, but that is not how politics works. Sometimes you just have to get their attention.

Seems like issues are more at a local level right now and physicians are dealing with them. If and when we get a universal healthcare system that brings physician pay to some low leve, I could see there being national interest in work stoppages. People usually don't deal with problems until they appear.

In the meantime, I'm focusing what little time I can spend on this on influencing organizations that are driving healthcare change and doing my best to make sure that they are aware of physician concerns. Usually they don't seem to have a complaint with physicians and are fine with physicians earning their keep (although some organizations might -- there are so many involved in this area of politics).
 

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Ah, socialized medicine. Screws doctors, screws patients, will probably screw taxpayers. It's "feelgood" politics, but you don't see a lot of people running to Canada because things are "better" there. Doesn't their prime minister come to the US for care?
 

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Countries who have universal health care according to Wikipedia: "Argentina,[8] Australia,[5][8] Austria,[5] Belgium,[5] Brazil,[5] Canada,[5] Cuba,[5] Denmark,[5] Finland,[5] France,[5][8] Germany,[5] Greece,[8][9] Ireland,[10] Israel,[11] Italy,[8][12] Japan,[5] The Netherlands,[5] New Zealand,[5] Norway,[5], Poland, Portugal,[4] Russia,[8] Saudi Arabia,[8] Seychelles,[13] South Korea[8] Spain,[5] Sri Lanka,[14] Sweden,[5] The Republic of China (Taiwan),[5] and the United Kingdom[5][8] are among many countries that have various types of universal health care systems."
 

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Why doesn’t the United States have universal health care as a right of citizenship? The United States is the only industrialized nation that does not guarantee access to health care as a right of citizenship. 28 industrialized nations have single payer universal health care systems, while 1 (Germany) has a multipayer universal health care system like President Clinton proposed for the United States.


Myth One: The United States has the best health care system in the world.

Fact One: The United States ranks 23rd in infant mortality, down from 12th in 1960 and 21st in 1990

Fact Two: The United States ranks 20th in life expectancy for women down from 1st in 1945 and 13th in 1960

Fact Three: The United States ranks 21st in life expectancy for men down from 1st in 1945 and 17th in 1960.

Fact Four: The United States ranks between 50th and 100th in immunizations depending on the immunization. Overall US is 67th, right behind Botswana

Fact Five: Outcome studies on a variety of diseases, such as coronary artery disease, and renal failure show the United States to rank below Canada and a wide variety of industrialized nations.

Conclusion: The United States ranks poorly relative to other industrialized nations in health care despite having the best trained health care providers and the best medical infrastructure of any industrialized nation

Myth Two: Universal Health Care Would Be Too Expensive
Fact One: The United States spends at least 40% more per capita on health care than any other industrialized country with universal health care


Fact Two: Federal studies by the Congressional Budget Office and the General Accounting office show that single payer universal health care would save 100 to 200 Billion dollars per year despite covering all the uninsured and increasing health care benefits.


Fact Three: State studies by Massachusetts and Connecticut have shown that single payer universal health care would save 1 to 2 Billion dollars per year from the total medical expenses in those states despite covering all the uninsured and increasing health care benefits


Fact Four: The costs of health care in Canada as a % of GNP, which were identical to the United States when Canada changed to a single payer, universal health care system in 1971, have increased at a rate much lower than the United States, despite the US economy being much stronger than Canada’s.


Conclusion: Single payer universal health care costs would be lower than the current US system due to lower administrative costs. The United States spends 50 to 100% more on administration than single payer systems. By lowering these administrative costs the United States would have the ability to provide universal health care, without managed care, increase benefits and still save money


Myth Three: Universal Health Care Would Deprive Citizens of Needed Services
Fact One: Studies reveal that citizens in universal health care systems have more doctor visits and more hospital days than in the US


Fact Two: Around 30% of Americans have problem accessing health care due to payment problems or access to care, far more than any other industrialized country. About 17% of our population is without health insurance. About 75% of ill uninsured people have trouble accessing/paying for health care.


Fact Three: Comparisons of Difficulties Accessing Care Are Shown To Be Greater In The US Than Canada (see graph)


Fact Four: Access to health care is directly related to income and race in the United States. As a result the poor and minorities have poorer health than the wealthy and the whites.


Fact Five: There would be no lines under a universal health care system in the United States because we have about a 30% oversupply of medical equipment and surgeons, whereas demand would increase about 15%


Conclusion: The US denies access to health care based on the ability to pay. Under a universal health care system all would access care. There would be no lines as in other industrialized countries due to the oversupply in our providers and infrastructure, and the willingness/ability of the United States to spend more on health care than other industrialized nations.
Myth Four: Universal Health Care Would Result In Government Control And Intrusion Into Health Care Resulting In Loss Of Freedom Of Choice
Fact One: There would be free choice of health care providers under a single payer universal health care system, unlike our current managed care system in which people are forced to see providers on the insurer’s panel to obtain medical benefits


Fact Two: There would be no management of care under a single payer, universal health care system unlike the current managed care system which mandates insurer preapproval for services thus undercutting patient confidentiality and taking health care decisions away from the health care provider and consumer


Fact Three: Although health care providers fees would be set as they are currently in 90% of cases, providers would have a means of negotiating fees unlike the current managed care system in which they are set in corporate board rooms with profits, not patient care, in mind


Fact Four: Taxes, fees and benefits would be decided by the insurer which would be under the control of a diverse board representing consumers, providers, business and government. It would not be a government controlled system, although the government would have to approve the taxes. The system would be run by a public trust, not the government.


Conclusion: Single payer, universal health care administered by a state public health system would be much more democratic and much less intrusive than our current system. Consumers and providers would have a voice in determining benefits, rates and taxes. Problems with free choice, confidentiality and medical decision making would be resolved
Myth Five: Universal Health Care Is Socialized Medicine And Would Be Unacceptable To The Public
Fact One: Single payer universal health care is not socialized medicine. It is health care payment system, not a health care delivery system. Health care providers would be in fee for service practice, and would not be employees of the government, which would be socialized medicine. Single payer health care is not socialized medicine, any more than the public funding of education is socialized education, or the public funding of the defense industry is socialized defense.


Fact Two: Repeated national and state polls have shown that between 60 and 75% of Americans would like a universal health care system (see The Harris Poll #78, October 20, 2005)


Conclusion: Single payer, universal health care is not socialized medicine and would be preferred by the majority of the citizens of this country
Myth Six: The Problems With The US Health Care System Are Being Solved and Are Best Solved By Private Corporate Managed Care Medicine because they are the most efficient
Fact One: Private for profit corporation are the lease efficient deliverer of health care. They spend between 20 and 30% of premiums on administration and profits. The public sector is the most efficient. Medicare spends 3% on administration.


Fact Two: The same procedure in the same hospital the year after conversion from not-for profit to for-profit costs in between 20 to 35% more


Fact Three: Health care costs in the United States grew more in the United States under managed care in 1990 to 1996 than any other industrialized nation with single payer universal health care


Fact Four: The quality of health care in the US has deteriorated under managed care. Access problems have increased. The number of uninsured has dramatically increased (increase of 10 million to 43.4 million from 1989 to 1996, increase of 2.4% from 1989 to 1996- 16% in 1996 and increasing each year).


Fact Five: The level of satisfaction with the US health care system is the lowest of any industrialized nation.


Fact Six: 80% of citizens and 71% of doctors believe that managed care has caused quality of care to be compromised


Conclusion: For profit, managed care can not solve the US health care problems because health care is not a commodity that people shop for, and quality of care must always be compromised when the motivating factor for corporations is to save money through denial of care and decreasing provider costs. In addition managed care has introduced problems of patient confidentiality and disrupted the continuity of care through having limited provider networks.
Overall Answer to the questions Why doesn’t the US have single payer universal health care when single payer universal health care is the most efficient, most democratic and most equitable means to deliver health care? Why does the United States remain wedded to an inefficient, autocratic and immoral system that makes health care accessible to the wealthy and not the poor when a vast majority of citizens want it to be a right of citizenship?
Conclusion: Corporations are able to buy politicians through our campaign finance system and control the media to convince people that corporate health care is democratic, represents freedom, and is the most efficient system for delivering health care

What you can do about this through your state Green Party
Work to pass a single payer, universal health care bill or referendum in your state. State level bills and referenda will be most effective because a federal health care system might in fact be too bureaucratic, and because it is not politically realistic at this time.


Bills or referendum must be written by and supported by health care providers for the legislature to take them seriously. It is thus imperative to form an alliance with provider groups. The most effective provider group to go through is Physicians For A National Health Program which has chapters in every state (see hand out for partial listing of contact people). A number of states already have organized single payer efforts: Massachusetts, California, Washington, Oregon, New Mexico, and Maryland. Join with them.


A first step is to contact state representatives from PNHP and offer to join with them to write and support a bill bringing single payer, universal health care to your state if this has not already been done. The Connecticut and Massachusetts Bills can be used as models to make this task easier (email us at [email protected] and we will send you copies of the bills). A referendum is another way to go, in which case the California referendum can be used as a model.


A second step is to contact state legislators and find a group who are willing to sponsor such a bill.


A third step is to create a coalition of groups to work together to support and publicize this work, or to try to bring together existing groups to work together on this project. Labor unions, progressive democratic groups, Medicare/Senior Advocacy groups, the Labor Party, the Reform Party, UHCAN, existing health care advocacy groups, and state health care provider groups are all imporatnt to work with and get to join such a coalition. The state medical society and state hospital association are critical to work with in order to get any legislation passed. Try to get them to work with you to design a new model for health care delivery. They will be particularly concerned about who will control the system, and be very mistrustful of government. A public trust model with participation by providers, hospitals, business, the public and government is like to be much more acceptable to them than a pure government system. Emphasize doing away with managed care, and get them to try and work with you to find other ways to control costs (necessary to convince politicians) such as quality assurance standards, which will also protect them from malpractice


A fourth step is to give talks in support of your bill or referendum where ever possible. Senior groups, medical staffs, church groups, high school assemblies, and labor unions are particularly good sources. Excellent materials including slides, a chart book and videos are available through PNHP.


A fifth step is to raise money through fund raisers, contributions and benefits held by entertainers. Benefits are particularly useful in bringing out people who you can inform about single payer, universal health care and your efforts.


A sixth step is to develop media access. The creation of videos that can be shown on local cable access TV stations is very effective. Newspaper articles, letters to the editor, and articles by the press are critical. Radio interviews and radio talk shows are important.


Getting the public to write and call their state representatives in support of a proposed bill is critical, as is coordinating testimony at a public hearing.


Because the data about single payer universal health care are so revealing of the problems with corporate America, and because the US citizenry is so concerned and dissatisfied with our health care system these efforts may yield surprisingly positive results and be helpful in establishing the Green Party in the US as a party of the people, by the people and for the people.

http://cthealth.server101.com/the_case_for_universal_health_care_in_the_united_states.htm
 

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It's worse than socialism, Obama will likely change our foreign policy, which will greatly make us more susceptible to Islamic extremism. He's extremely vague about his religious beliefs and I suspect he is hiding his true intentions.

If Obama is the pres or VP candidate, I don't care if Brownback or someone like that is the the Republican candidate-- I'm doing my hardest to make sure the Republicans win if this is the case. On the other hand Gore-Clinton would have my vote (and which is the only combination with which the dems can win).
 

cfdavid

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Yeah... because if nobody listens to us, we can just go on strike. Not.
Bottom line is, nobody will give 2 sh**s what we say (either med students or docs) because we're the evil money-making people.

docs in germany are unionized, and i know they went on strike within the last year, because they felt they had been getting dic*ed over by their own system.
 

Taurus

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Physicians can go on strike ... if they are in demand. Here in Austin a few years back, some neurosurgeons either threatened or went on strike (called in sick or whatever) and the city was without neurosurgeons until they raised their pay to $1.5 million... It can be done.

Neurosurgeons, work stoppages, and the art of negotiation.
Surgical Neurology, Volume 59, Issue 5, Pages 437-438 (May 2003)
J. Ausman
Because of the rising malpractice premiums in the past few months, neurosurgeons in Pennsylvania decided to go on “strike.” At the last minute the new Governor promised that he would try to get the doctors more money to pay for their malpractice premiums. So, the doctors called off their work stoppage.

I don't know if physicians are even legally allowed to unionized. If I recall, physicians tried to unionize in the past, but a judge ruled it illegal. But let's just say for argument's sake that physicians were able to unionize, it wouldn't be very effective. You know why? Because it's not hard to put an end to it. All you have to do is go to court and argue that this group of people provide a critical public service and therefore they have to be on the job. A judge can then order all those picketing physicians back to work. If you refuse, you'll get yourself in a lot of trouble. When was the last time you heard the police or fire department going on strike?
 
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cfdavid

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I don't know if physicians are even legally allowed to unionized. If I recall, physicians tried to unionize in the past, but a judge ruled it illegal. But let's just say for argument's sake that physicians were able to unionize, it wouldn't be very effective. You know why? Because it's not hard to put an end to it. All you have to do is go to court and argue that this group of people provide a critical public service and therefore they have to be on the job. A judge can then order all those picketing physicians back to work. If you refuse, you'll get yourself in a lot of trouble. When was the last time you heard the police or fire department going on strike?


That's true, I've not heard of it. However, police and fire ARE unionized. They collectively bargain on issues that effect them. I'm not necessarily advocating unionization (in fact, being from Detroit, I'm a lot soured by unions in terms of what they've done to hinder the competitiveness of our auto industry), but just stating the facts.
 

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That's true, I've not heard of it. However, police and fire ARE unionized. They collectively bargain on issues that effect them. I'm not necessarily advocating unionization (in fact, being from Detroit, I'm a lot soured by unions in terms of what they've done to hinder the competitiveness of our auto industry), but just stating the facts.

How much public sympathy do you think a bunch of holier-than-thou, highly paid physicians will get? Maybe once we start making $40k/year like lots of police and firepeople, then we'll get it. Those physicians in socialized European countries can unionize and win concessions. You know why? Because they only make like $40k/year. Even engineers in those countries are more regarded and paid more.
 

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How much public sympathy do you think a bunch of holier-than-thou, highly paid physicians will get? Maybe once we start making $40k/year like lots of police and firepeople, then we'll get it. Those physicians in socialized European countries can unionize and win concessions. You know why? Because they only make like $40k/year. Even engineers in those countries are more regarded and paid more.

Americans respect physicians and have no problem with physicians earning a good living. With a sensible system of funding healthcare, physicians can earn a decent living and provide universal care for Americans with reasonable efficiency. Maybe health insurance company profits would be hurt, but that's probably a good thing.
 

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You can unionize, and in a single payer sytem, you can strike. Do not be decieved or scared into taking crap just because you are providing "essential services".
 

Taurus

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You can unionize, and in a single payer sytem, you can strike.

And if some judge orders you back to work, then your strike won't last very long, will it? You could be back at work the next day if it's done on an emergency basis. Oh, I can just see physicians walking the picket lines on TV right now. Just like those airline pilots. How much sympathy will the public give us? What, we can't afford to buy our second Mercedes? :rolleyes: We are the highest compensated group in America after all.
 

OHMAN0125

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And if some judge orders you back to work, then your strike won't last very long, will it? You could be back at work the next day if it's done on an emergency basis. Oh, I can just see physicians walking the picket lines on TV right now. Just like those airline pilots. How much sympathy will the public give us? What, we can't afford to buy our second Mercedes? :rolleyes: We are the highest compensated group in America after all.

I think striking would be pretty unethical as a physician. However, I think it's unfair that they keep taking from doctors. They should crack down on HMOs / bigPharma instead. :thumbup:
 

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And if some judge orders you back to work, then your strike won't last very long, will it? You could be back at work the next day if it's done on an emergency basis. Oh, I can just see physicians walking the picket lines on TV right now. Just like those airline pilots. How much sympathy will the public give us? What, we can't afford to buy our second Mercedes? :rolleyes: We are the highest compensated group in America after all.

What the hell is your point? Are you saying that you will not fight fo yourself simply because there might be a court order in the event of a strike? Look, there are already pockets of strikes going on, with good results too. Surgeons went on strike in west Virginia because of high medmal insurance. Strike aside, you need a union to aggressively protect physicians' interests, and that is as simple as it gets. If you don't have the cajones to fight for yourself or your comrades, then step aside.
 

cfdavid

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How much public sympathy do you think a bunch of holier-than-thou, highly paid physicians will get? Maybe once we start making $40k/year like lots of police and firepeople, then we'll get it. Those physicians in socialized European countries can unionize and win concessions. You know why? Because they only make like $40k/year. Even engineers in those countries are more regarded and paid more.

Not all physicians are "holier than thou" as you say, but regardless, in most socialized systems, medical education is highly subsidized. So, newly minted docs aren't burdened with $150k + in debt load upon graduation.
 

Taurus

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What the hell is your point? Are you saying that you will not fight fo yourself simply because there might be a court order in the event of a strike? Look, there are already pockets of strikes going on, with good results too. Surgeons went on strike in west Virginia because of high medmal insurance. Strike aside, you need a union to aggressively protect physicians' interests, and that is as simple as it gets. If you don't have the cajones to fight for yourself or your comrades, then step aside.

My point is that I think you'll be spinning your wheels and wasting time and energy fighting a losing battle. It's a good cause, but a lost cause. Healthcare costs in this country are way too high and cuts have to be made everywhere in order to keep Medicare solvent. If it's not Bush, it'll be the next president. The way of life that physicians have become accustomed to is slowly being chipped away. Any physician who started to practice 20 years ago will tell you that it's different today and for the worst. You know, it used to be that all you need was a college degree and you were set for life. That's no longer the case. You'll drive yourself crazy trying to keep the status quo when change is coming and you refuse to accept it. My advice is learn to adapt to the changes. I see numerous challenges on the horizon including reduced reimbursements, higher malpractice, nurses, etc. First, pick your specialty wisely. I think that if you go into certain specialties you'll be at a high risk of seeing the unpleasant side of the current practice of medicine. Second, use your other skills. If you want to be successful, you may have to be more entrepreneurial. Maybe employ more technologies in your practice to make it more efficient or figure how to market yourself to attract more patients. When there are lots of changes going on, it means there are lots of opportunities. Just keep your eyes open for them.
 

dutchman

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My point is that I think you'll be spinning your wheels and wasting time and energy fighting a losing battle. It's a good cause, but a lost cause. Healthcare costs in this country are way too high and cuts have to be made everywhere in order to keep Medicare solvent. If it's not Bush, it'll be the next president. The way of life that physicians have become accustomed to is slowly being chipped away. Any physician who started to practice 20 years ago will tell you that it's different today and for the worst. You know, it used to be that all you need was a college degree and you were set for life. That's no longer the case. You'll drive yourself crazy trying to keep the status quo when change is coming and you refuse to accept it. My advice is learn to adapt to the changes. I see numerous challenges on the horizon including reduced reimbursements, higher malpractice, nurses, etc. First, pick your specialty wisely. I think that if you go into certain specialties you'll be at a high risk of seeing the unpleasant side of the current practice of medicine. Second, use your other skills. If you want to be successful, you may have to be more entrepreneurial. Maybe employ more technologies in your practice to make it more efficient or figure how to market yourself to attract more patients. When there are lots of changes going on, it means there are lots of opportunities. Just keep your eyes open for them.

I would rather fight.
 
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