Mr Lehrer clearly did not do his research. He has no idea how much a year of medical school costs; I WISH it was only $20,000 a year! Sheesh!!! He has no idea how much doctors really make. Maybe $200,000 is possibly earned in a given year by a primary care physician, but factoring in overhead costs and paying off loans there is no way that a basic PCP earns that much money.
And then there is this retort: http://www.meandmydoctor.com/2012/07/setting-record-straight-on-doctor-pay.html?m=1.
Wow! And by a real doctor too. I think he nailed it! Well almost all of it.
I know most people in the great US of A have concerns over their healthcare and the rising costs. If you know me via Facebook you have probably read a status update or two from me bemoaning my own issues with my insurance company. First they doubled my monthly payment because I was "prime baby-making age" (yes, those are the exact words). Then they decided to no longer cover my Well Woman visits to my doctor. Since when is it not recommended to get an annual physical? Most recently, they announced they would no longer cover "elective" blood work. Who decides what is "elective" or not? Gah!
Anywho, I don't see why so many people blame doctors. I understand that over the years they have gotten a bad name from a few "doctors" who believe it is ok to over charge and do unnecessary procedures. But most doctors just want to help. The majority of people in medicine don't do it for the money, though it is nice. If we were doing it for the money, we wouldn't be doing medicine because the initial costs are so high! I owed over $250,000 in loans on the day I graduated from medical school, and in just a few short weeks all those loans will begin to accrue interest at incredible rates of 6.8% and 8%.
I wish Mr Lehrer had addressed actual ways to lower healthcare costs other than having a government mandated payer system. If you want to lower healthcare costs in the US, stop whining and take care of yourself! It is so much cheaper in the long run to eat good food, exercise, and stay clean. The most common cause of high blood pressure is dehydration and extra weight. The most common reason for knee replacement/back surgery/gallbladder removal is obesity.
But I get it. Who wants to get their butt off the couch? Why should I take care of myself when no one else does? Why do I pay to go to the hospital when all the other people there are on Medicare/Medicaid and don't have to pay? Why would I drive to the hospital when I could just get a "free" ambulance to take me and my baby with diaper rash in? Why should I get a job when I can just get on disability and have the government pay my bills? Why should I take care of my children, they can walk and take care of themselves right?