Saturday, March 25, 2006

Charity Docs

The percentage of physicians who provide free care to the poor has dropped over the past decade, signaling a growing problem for the uninsured, a survey suggests.

About three-quarters of physicians provided charity care in the mid-1990s, compared with about two-thirds now, according to a study released Thursday by the Center for Studying Health System Change.

This is not good news for the uninsured.

"Charity care is not the solution to our health coverage problems in this country," Hill said. "Maybe this will help wake up everybody so they understand we've got to solve the problem of almost 46 million people without (insurance) coverage."

Of course, this 46M figure has been dissected and challenged more than once at this site. The actual number of uninsured is closer to 21M.

Hill said the AMA supports the use of tax credits to make health insurance more affordable and changes in insurance regulation that would reduce costs.
Tax credits will do little to increase the number of uninsured.

Changes in legislation, such as allowing AHP’s (association health plans) are nothing more than a minefield.

This should be a wake up call to those who can afford health insurance but do not have it (approximately 15M) and those who qualify for taxpayer funded programs but are not taking advantage of them (another 18M).
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