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PNHP RESOURCES

New survey shows a majority of Chicago-area doctors support Medicare for all

90% of regional physicians believe that health care is a basic human right

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, June 20, 2017

For a copy of the report please contact: Clare Fauke, communications specialist, Physicians for a National Health Program, clare@pnhp.org or 312-782-6006

A new poll of more than one thousand Chicago-area physicians finds that a majority support a universal, single-payer health system and an overwhelming number reject the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the Republican House plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Chicagoland physicians prefer a single-payer plan two-to-one over the ACA, and three-to-one over the AHCA. By similar margins, physicians believe that improved Medicare for all is a preferable health financing system over both the ACA and the AHCA. The study was conducted in April and May by the Chicago Medical Society, which represents 17,000 physicians serving more than five million patients in the Chicago area.

The study’s key findings include:

  • Nearly 90% of respondents agreed that health care is a human right that should be made available to all individuals, similar to basic education, police and fire protection (70% agreed strongly and 18% agreed somewhat).
  • Asked to choose which proposal would provide “the best care to the greatest number of people for a given amount of funding,” 56% chose single-payer/improved Medicare for all, 26% chose the ACA and 18% chose the AHCA.
  • When asked to provide their views of competing health care systems, single payer was viewed favorably by 67% of doctors, the ACA was viewed favorably by 63% of doctors, and the AHCA was viewed favorably by only 23%.

“Because of our profit-driven, multi-payer health system, doctors are spending hours each day on paperwork and billing, hours that could have been spent on patient care,” said Claudia Fegan, M.D., a Chicago-based physician and national coordinator for Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP). “Not surprisingly, a growing number of health care providers reject the AHCA and support the simplicity and efficiency of improved Medicare for all.”

Dr. Fegan notes that in contrast to the AHCA, H.R. 676, the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act, would provide immediate, comprehensive coverage to all Americans and yield more than $500 billion dollars in yearly administrative savings. H.R. 676 has gained a record 112 co-sponsors, which represents a majority of House Democrats.

PNHP encourages medical associations to respect the opinions of their members and formally support Medicare for all. At the recent meeting of the American Medical Association in Chicago, the AMA’s Medical Student Section unanimously adopted a resolution called “National Healthcare Finance Reform: Single Payer Solution” to “support the implementation of a national single payer system.”

Physicians for a National Health Program (www.pnhp.org) is a nonprofit research and educational organization of more than 21,000 doctors who support a single-payer national health program. PNHP had no role in funding or otherwise supporting the study described above.