So, what I want to know is if the doctors are going to flee the state in mass when single-payer kicks in?
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>>>So, what I want to know is if the doctors are going to flee the state in mass when single-payer kicks in?
And go where?
A licensed physician, alas, cannot simply move from Vermont and set up a new practice in, e.g., Texas, without retaking various licensing exams and fulfilling burdensome requirements. The purpose of these licensing restrictions was to limit the number of physicians that could legally practice in any particular state, thus keeping their rates higher than a true free market would have resulted in.
I feel sorry for the doctors, but the truth is that ever since the old Flexner Report, they have been a kind of protected guild. Naturally, all such protections are made with the excuse that “It’s for the good of the public,” but the truth is that it was done mainly for prestige/economic reasons.
I think what will happen in Vermont is what I see happening in general: the older physicians will retire a little sooner than they expected to; they will be very reluctant to recommend medicine as a good career to bright young high school and college students; and some of the younger doctors already in practice will branch out into other kinds of care that are not yet so highly regulated. For example, many dermatologists no longer rely only on their practice for an income, but carry their own unique line of skin products their offices and waiting rooms look like the beauty and skin-care section of a major department store. Some physicians internal medicine, mainly give an afternoon or two per week at some of the health food stores, answering questions about food supplements, vitamins, etc. They usually run their own clinics where they practice “integrative medicine” or “complementary medicine” combining orthodox medical therapies with alternative practices. Nothing wrong, per se, with this, of course, but for me, it’s always interesting to see how people respond in whatever pockets of freedom remain during times of political restrictions on liberty.