Readers Write: Healthcare savings

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Editor:

I like Dr. Tom’s ideas on Medicare-for-All. I recognize the benefits and cost savings — if everyone, in fact, pays (just like Medicare). The 3-percent off of everyone’s income is much less than healthcare plans cost now.

However, I’m not entirely sold on the savings he points out in eliminating the “middlemen” — the insurance companies. Someone will still need to watch what’s being done and how much is paid — you know, since there are still dishonest people in the world. But there may be a way to save even more money.

According to a report on Medscape.com provided by Carol Peckham on April 1, 2016, physicians in the U.S. earn an average in the neighborhood of $204,000 for pediatrics up to around $443,000 for the orthopedics specialty. Not bad neighborhoods, eh?

It states in the report that surgical specialties like cardiology surgery, etc., can earn even more. But, let’s take those “low” figures. If you average the incomes listed for the 26 specialties in that report, it works out to just short of $300,000. You can check my math — the total income for the 26 specialties listed equals $7,733,000 divided by 26 equals $297,423.08 per year.

These numbers put physician’s pay in the 99th to 99.5th percentile of U.S. earners. Have you ever met a poor doctor? How about this alternative: Let’s reduce the pay to physicians by 50 percent across the board. That’ll still allow docs to be in the 96th to 99th percentile of earners and yet, we’ll save more billions of dollars, too.

Next, let’s reduce the gross overpayments to hospitals: $50 per Tylenol tablet?

Sources: http://www.medscape.com/features/slideshow/compensation/2016/cardiology#page=2

http://whatsmypercent.com/

Ron West

Idyllwild

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