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Poll: Doctors Oppose Government-Run Health Coverage

Poll of physicians reveals lack of willingness to accept new patients covered by a government plan

The American Society of Medical Doctors (ASMD) today released a nationwide, nonpartisan poll* of physicians showing that:

Doctor Obama

* 70 percent of specialty doctors oppose current Congressional and White House proposals for health-care reform;

* 66 percent believe that a government-run health insurance plan would restrict doctors' ability to give the best advice and offer the best care possible to their patients; and

* More than 60 percent would not accept new patients with government insurance (including 27% who would not accept any patients on the new government plan).

Chairman of the ASMD, Alfred O. Bonati, M.D., said that, “As a physician, the results of this poll are not surprising to me. Any doctor who has ever dealt with Medicare knows that government coverage severely limits our abilities to deliver care that best fits the needs of the patient and the patient's family. We know that government coverage does not allow for flexibility, creativity, or, sometimes, even compassion.”

“I hope this research will serve as a wake-up call to policy makers,” Bonati said. “Doctors are against the creation of government-run health insurance and many of us will not accept new patients with that type of coverage.”

ASMD spokeswoman, Holly Pitt Young, noted that, “When it comes to our health, we listen to our doctors. Now it's time for Congress to do the same.” Pitt Young also highlighted the political orientation of the poll's participants. “More than 60 percent of the doctors in this poll described themselves as moderate, somewhat liberal or very liberal. When a group like that agrees with conservatives, it seems that something awfully important is being said.”

*The poll was conducted on August 7th, 2009, by WRS Opinion Research on behalf of the ASMD. Detailed results can be found at http://www.theasmd.org.

Dr. Bonati is the founder of The Bonati Institute and creator of the patented Bonati Procedure for laser spinal surgery. He lives and practices medicine in Hudson, Florida.

SOURCE American Society of Medical Doctors

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