rayiner wrote:rejectmaster wrote:And we pay more for health care here because insurance companies and malpractice laws/insurance really drain physicians/dentists. I'm the first in my family to pursue law over Medicine or Dentistry and that expense dominates conversation at family gatherings.
A Harvard study showed that malpractice suits added $60 billion to the costs of a the $1,200 billion health care industry. That 5% is not entirely overhead --- a lot of it is payment to people injured by malpractice that have suffered actual losses. In the same study, an expert panel of doctors went over a selection of jury verdicts in malpractice cases, and found that over 70% of the time, the jury's judgement about whether actual malpractice had occurred was clearly correct, and when they erred, juries tended to err on the side of doctors.
The actual overhead in the process (litigation, insurance, etc) is probably on the order of 2%. That is not high price for what is essentially the only external quality-control mechanism in the medical system.
Physicians are not generating close to the $1.2 billion figure cited above. Insurance companies are huge and employ tons of people.. this obviously inflates the figure. So that 2% on the entire statistic becomes much larger when applied to a doctor's compensation.
And Insurance/Managed Care/Illegal Immigrants who don't pay (really only a problem in border states) hurt doctors and force them to charge more. A doctor's office needs a staff to handle insurance claims, and needs to pay all of these people off of money earned from seeing patients.