By the Chicago Medical Society. Above photo: AP
Nearly four in five Chicago area physicians are opposed to the American Health Care Act (AHCA) under consideration by the U.S. Senate as increasing numbers of physicians support a single-payer “Medicare-for-All” form of health insurance.
A survey of more than 1,000 physicians by the Chicago Medical Society about payment models indicates 77% of these doctors in Cook and its Illinois collar counties have a “generally unfavorable” view of the American Health Care Act, which was passed last month by the U.S. House of Representatives and is currently being debated in the U.S. Senate.
‘Unfavorable’ view of AHCA
The AHCA, which would roll back the Medicaid expansion in 31 states, including Illinois, earned positive views from just 23.4 percent of physicians who said they were “generally favorable” about the legislation.
Rather, physicians voice support for single payer and and also support the Affordable Care Act (ACA)with some fixes. In the Chicago Medical Society survey, the ACA received a “generally favorable” view from 62.7% of Chicago area physicians and even more, or 66.8% have a “generally favorable” view of a single-payer financing health care system. Given a choice between single payer, an improved ACA and the AHCA, Chicago physicians favored a single payer approach by 2 to 1 over the ACA and by 3 to 1 over the AHCA.
Chicago area physicians’ more positive views of single-payer financing comes as attitudes shift on the issue. Just last week, the California Senate approved a “Medicare for all-type/single payer bill.”
Physicians split on private insurer role
Physicians are divided on whether the private insurance industry should play a role in the future delivery of medical care, the Chicago Medical Society analysis shows. Of those surveyed, 50.3% either “disagree somewhat” (24.8%) or “disagree strongly” (25.5%) with private insurance companies continuing their role in the U.S. healthcare system, while 49.7% either “strongly agree” or “agree somewhat” that private insurers should be involved.
- 87.6% of physicians think “basic health care would be available to all individuals as part of the social contract, a right similar to basic education, police and fire protection.”
- 59.5% of physicians “agree strongly” (15.2%) or “agree somewhat” (44.3%) that people currently have access to the medical care that they need.
The Chicago Medical Society poll surveyed 1,060 physicians in Cook County and adjacent “collar counties.” The poll comes as policymakers and members of Congress are considering reforms to the U.S. healthcare system, which will also be debated and discussed by physicians in Chicago Saturday through Wednesday for the American Medical Association’s annual meeting June 10-14.