Where doctors stand

WHERE DOCTORS STAND…. Republican Study Committee Chairman Rep. Tom Price (Ga.), a physician by trade, wasn’t impressed with the White House event yesterday with doctors who support health care reform. On a conference call organized by the RNC, Price said, “I would suggest that a real cross-section of doctors would not be applauding a government takeover of healthcare.”

Putting aside the tiresome and faulty premise — in reality, reform proposals do not constitute a “government takeover” — Price seems to think he knows what physicians want from the health care system. Perhaps he’s out of the medical-community loop — most doctors not only support reform proposals, but also endorse a public option. Indeed, a large, independent study was recently conducted, which found 63% of doctors say they favor giving patients a choice that would include both public and private insurance. An additional 10% want a single-payer system.

Taken together, “nearly three-quarters of physicians supported some form of a public option, either alone or in combination with private insurance options.”

What’s more, this is increasingly becoming the focus of reform advocates’ pitch to the public. The DNC’s Organizing for America unveiled this ad earlier today, featuring “a direct appeal from a doctor and a nurse making the case for the urgent need for health insurance reform.” The press release added that the ad will run on national cable outlets beginning tomorrow for the next two weeks.

The White House also released its own video this morning, showing testimonials from physicians who attended yesterday’s Rose Garden event, all of whom offered their support for Democratic proposals.

It’s a shame Tom Price wasn’t there; he might have learned something.