Bob L. Just My Opinion, But There Are A Lot More Out There That Need A Pay Bump, and there are a lot who need a Pay Reduction to what the poor are getting paid.
May 14th 2014
If you want to talk about a pay bump, lets start with Seniors on a fixed income, I am not talking about seniors who have a big retirement who can afford $1,000.00 to $2,400.00 a month in rent, I am talking about the ones who are living on scraps to survive just like the poor who now want to raise the living standard so any one on a set income with no chance of an increases, will be pushed on the street to live.
Right now I am living in one of those places that just raised their rents for profit and they did not care if any one of the tenants could pay the increase, so now they have to borrow money from one until they can find a place to live, and a Government who is suppose to protect the people, they are doing nothing to stop the gouging of these rents, all Governments, Utilities, and Companies, all they want is to have higher wages and Taxes no matter what it is doing to the Economy and the people who can less afford all these increases.
Like Obama claims spread the wealth from the rich to the poor, well turn it around, take from the poor give to the rich and his poor that he is producing.
I have a better idea, lets all wage on any one who makes more than $50,000.00 a year, that includes Company payrolls as well, Oh, we can not for get Government who get automatic pay raises and cost of living, then may be this Country will get back to a living wage and a tax and prices that all people can live with.
Better yet NO wage Can go over $10.00 Dollars an Hour and no over time, and no Government, Management and Corporate pay can not go above $25.00 Dollars AN HOUR and no over time, and if they do Prosecute them for price-fixing and gouging
The Daily Beast
By Daniela Drake
May 13, 2014
While we entertain the idea of increasing the minimum wage, let’s not forget doctors who also need a pay bump. Yes, doctors—primary care physicians (PCPs) who are receiving only a tiny fraction of all that money you’re now forced to fork over for health insurance.
However, the math is simple. The average PCP has 2,500 patients and supposedly makes $180,000 a year. Therefore, the insurer is paying your primary care doctor $72 a year per patient—out of the $7,200 a year paid to the insurer. That’s 1% of the insurance premium. It works out to $6 a month (19.7 cents a day!) to have a highly trained professional overseeing your care.
We happily pay more for Netflix and consider it one of the best values around. Is your doctor worth less?
Even if you quibble with these numbers, consider that physician temp jobs pay $70 to $80 per hour—and doctors will see four patients an hour. That works out to $17.50 per visit, less than most co-pays. (Therefore, in many cases the insurer pays the physician nothing out of your insurance premium.) As for the $17.50 for the physician—that’s about $10 after taxes.
Given the amount of work that primary care doctors do, it’s simply inadequate compensation. And it shows. Physicians feel overworked and patients feel “under served.” So much so that plenty of patients are seeking out concierge physicians—and voluntarily paying extra cash—just to have an attentive doctor. If we continue this way, we run the very serious risk of having a two-tiered healthcare system—and anyone unable to pay cash will receive increasingly substandard care.
A recent Vox article, which calls to reduce doctor pay, struck many physicians as particularly off the mark. The article reported that physician salaries account for 56% of total health care spending (when it’s really more like 10%). It turns out, according to Vox, that all healthcare salaries account for 56% of spending—including nurses, techs, and presumably administrators, who are also known to make $180,000 a year and occasionally into the tens of millions.
A belated correction was issued on the blog.
But how can a mistake like that be made? Is it because everyone thinks doctors are ++getting away with something? Over nine million US households earn more than $150,000 a year, and physicians make up less than 10% of those. Some police officers make $150,000. Members of the San Francisco symphony orchestra make $160,000 a year. College administrators can make $200,000 to $300,000 annually. Even public school administrators can make over $200,000. First year consultants can make $190,000. And nurses can make almost as much as a primary care physician—yet we never hear a call to reduce their salaries. It just wouldn’t sell.
Alas, the “greedy” doctor is an easy target.
But let’s consider the $10.00 visit. Your doctor might lance, drain, and pack a boil, or maybe clean out your ears, remove a suspicious mole, perform a pap smear or rectal or breast exam, including palpating deep into your sweating armpits to check for lymph nodes—and yet he is somehow being overpaid? Your primary physician is always on the hook to interpret your labs and specialist reports, and send you a note explaining it all. He is there to refill your prescriptions and take your calls about some pharmaceutical ad or report in the news. When you have a good primary care physician, he is always there for you.
To have someone like that available for you at 19 cents a day would strike most people as a bargain.
Indeed, Princeton economist Uwe Reinhardt has argued cogently against physician salary reductions and for salary raises. “Physicians collectively [earn] 20% of total health spending,” he wrote, “half is absorbed by practice expenses… physician’s collective take-home pay [is] only about 10% of total national health spending.”
Reinhardt points out that physician pay is such a small fraction of healthcare expenses, it wouldn’t do much good to cut it. “[In returned we’d get], a wholly demoralized medical profession to which we so often look to save our lives. It strikes me as a poor strategy,” Reinhardt wrote. “A superior strategy might be to pay them very well for helping us reduce unwarranted health spending elsewhere.”
He might be on to something. Paying primary care physicians better could give them more time to support the lifestyle changes that keep patients out of hospitals. A physician who the patient trusts is not likely to order unnecessary tests because he’s afraid of being sued—and is less likely to order tests a patient requests but doesn’t need. And these are two overriding drivers of healthcare costs, according to a 2007 McKinsey and Company study.
Of course, almost all American workers feel squeezed these days. But fair physician compensation matters to everyone because when the doctor is squeezed, the patient suffers. Physician-per-patient-pay is now far below what we could think of as a physician’s minimum wage—which we could define as the level at which a doctor can no longer give good care. So when people argue to cut doctors’ pay, it’s not for the good of the patient. It’s for the good of hospital and insurance executives, disguised as an effort to save the economy.
And as physicians struggle to preserve fair pay, many people counter that healthcare is a right, implying that physician services should be completely free. But rather than argue about whether it’s a right, we might think of healthcare as a valued good that we should provide each other in a civilized society.
We have enough resources to deliver that valued good—at least for primary care. Indeed, there are lots of things we can do to fix the primary care shortage, not the least of which is to permit nurse practitioners and physician assistants to practice independently. (And yes, they are good enough.)
Naturally, there will be objections—but usually they’re little more than distractions. We could compare American doctors’ incomes to doctors’ incomes in the wholly dissimilar European economy, which physician-blogger Dr. Kevin Pho neatly rebuts in Pay Me like a French Doctor, You Know You Want To. Or we could talk about absolute salary size and quickly find ourselves fanning the destructive flames of class resentment. We could engage in thought experiments like whether healthcare spending is really a waste since these monies get recycled back into the economy. All are interesting—but at this point, they aren’t what truly matter.
What truly matters is this: What is good primary care worth? It’s a fair bet that it’s a lot more than 19 cents a day.