LETTER: Not all doctors support Obama's public option plan

Monday, October 5, 2009 | 3:51 p.m. CDT; updated 6:17 p.m. CDT, Monday, October 5, 2009

President Barack Obama is meeting this a.m. with a physician from each state. My assumption is that this meeting is designed to demonstrate that physicians are very much in favor of the public option to health care reform.  

I wish to make it known that these physicians do not represent us nor do I believe they speak for the majority of physicians in the U.S.  I oppose any such public option or mandate. When this president cherry-picks his audience, you can be almost assured that he is picking his bias to be heard. Let's make this debate fair and balanced. I am of the opinion that the majority of physicians do not favor a public option or mandate.


Robert E. Frazier, M.D., lives in Columbia.

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Christopher Foote October 7, 2009 | 4:37 p.m.

Dr. Frazier,

In regards to the public option, a recent survey by the New england Journal of Medicine found that 63% of doctors, covering a wide range of specialties, support a public option to compete against private plans:
Only 27% were against the public option. Thus your opinion appears to be in the minority by a factor exceeding 2 to 1.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr October 7, 2009 | 4:57 p.m.

Of coarse Robert E. Frazier, M.D. and his Dr Friends do not support the Public Option because they might not make enough money to afford that exclusive table at the Country Clubs across the nation they attend.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith October 7, 2009 | 6:46 p.m.

Chuck, "coarse" is the opposite of "fine." I am concerned about some of your problems with English: If your English deteriorates further people will start believing you're an engineer.

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John Schultz October 7, 2009 | 9:49 p.m.

Chuck as usual is assuming. If doctors can't make money or are engulfed in red tape (as many have claimed with Medicare and no longer serve those patients), a public option may very well suffer a similar fate. What will you demand then Chuck, that doctors serve you no matter what? On penalty of jail time?

Ellis, I know that our degrees were granted just a feeeew years apart, but Mizzou grouped us engineers in a engineering-specific section of a writing intensive class. I forget the exact class name, but Lamont Frazier of the basketball team was in it interestingly enough. I'm not sure if this was to beat good English into us or keep us from infecting the non-engineering students.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith October 8, 2009 | 4:21 a.m.

John, yur English iz first rait. Apparently they razed the bar for English requirements since Joe was in school. They probably put the basketball player in yur class in order to raze the class average. Basketball players need to be able to read contracts, ya know.

Yez, I kan understand how "infection" by bad English at an omnibus (fancy word!) campus like MU might be a severe problem; however, when most students at any campus are engineering students, who ya gonna infect? We have no communications problems: when English fails us we resort to mathematical notation. 2+2=5, etc.

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Charles Dudley Jr October 8, 2009 | 4:33 a.m.

Ellis Smith ya ya ya like we need perfect English on the

John the point is that doctors are making a killing on money in the health care fields or alot of them would not be so upset about this reform and the public option.

It's all about the Money:

(Report Comment)
John Schultz October 8, 2009 | 9:42 a.m.

And doctors shouldn't make money why?

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Ayn Rand October 9, 2009 | 12:49 p.m.

Most doctors are among the ~55% of taxpayers whose federal income taxes support the ~45% who pay no federal income tax and, in some cases, get money from the government simply for gracing us with their presence.

(Report Comment)
Christopher Foote October 9, 2009 | 2:15 p.m.

@Ayn Rand,

While it is certainly true that for Federal Income taxes a disproportionate amount is paid by the wealthy. However, to the average blue collar worker, taxes from other sources also take a considerable chunk out of their monthly paycheck. If we take into account all taxes levied we have a fairly flat tax of around 40%:
For example, a married couple in their 30s making $20,000 per year will pay 42.5% of their income in taxes. The same couple making $500,000 per year will pay 44% of their income in taxes.
Thus it is a bit of sophistry to suggest that only the rich pay taxes by limiting one's definition of taxes to federal income taxes. Perhaps in the future, when commenting on tax policy, you could include all categories of taxes in your calculus.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand October 9, 2009 | 3:04 p.m.

You're right that there are a lot of other taxes. But a system where nearly half of people carry the load for the other half is unsustainable. People who are paying little or nothing for all of those federal programs have a big incentive to see those programs expanded: It doesn't cost them anything, so why not?

(Report Comment)

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