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The median physician salary in the U.S. is around $275,000 per year. This is more than FIVE TIMES what the average American is able to take home from working just as hard as doctors. And this difference has been diverging, especially if we look at the salary difference between the top surgeons in the U.S. and those folks who are just scraping by on the minimum wage.

In fact, doctors in European countries and Japan make anywhere between 2 times and 5 times less on average than their American counterparts, and as we all by now know well that “outcomes” in those countries are superior to that here in America. So why all this handwringing about how hard it is to deal with the health care problem in America. The solution presents itself. Cut doctor pay now!

There are about 750,000 doctors in the United States. If we cut all of their salaries by a factor of 2 (the low end  for other countries), we could “save” $103 billion per year in health care costs just from this measure alone! Heck, why stop there, we can cut nurses wages and nurse practitioner wages and insurance company executive wages and medical professors’ wages and we might be able to solve the whole damn cost control problem with a stroke of the pen.

Phew, that was tough! Now onto more important things, like subsidizing the vacations of economists …

6 Responses to “Introducing Bizarro-Wintercow: Cap Doctor Pay!”

  1. Asa says:

    I assume you’re kidding, but some people don’t have a great sense of humor so might not appreciate the sarcasm. Like my sister-in-law (who’s a doctor) – if I suggested this she might not talk to me for a very long time 🙂

  2. ckr says:

    From an economic perspective, I would say that high physician compensation is directly related to the imbalance between supply and demand of doctors. The supply of doctors is held artificially low by the doctor guild (aka AMA). There are quite apparently too few medical school slots and the dearth is justified by the convenient excuse that we should only allow the ‘best of the best’ to become doctors (i.e., those who can score ‘A’s on chemistry exams).

  3. Harry says:

    That AMA Doctor Guild is mythology.

    I wonder how many would-be doctors were scared away by Hillarycare, and how many more have been scared away by Obama and Kathleen Sibelius.

    Ten days ago I broke my leg, and here I lie in my own bed(I got upstairs on my own) thanks to a young (34- year old) orthopaedist who fixed me up with a rod and two titanium nails.

    If I had broken it in Canada, I would probably be waiting for the first xRay.

    I know Wintercow jests about fixing doctors’ pay.

    These are real doctors who fix things, unlike the doctors in the sociology department

  4. Harry says:

    By the way, Wintercow, no pundit worth his or her salt talks in annual terms. It is better to talk about $1.03 trillion over ten years, or, if you are a progressive talking about your Gosplan, do it for your five- year plan.

  5. Rod says:

    Not only is it clever to talk about deficits and budgets over ten years, but it’s very clever to mix ten year predictions with one-year predictions.

    Note the median income of medical doctors is just high enough to poke into the definition of “the rich” for tax purposes. That last $25 grand gets a shorter haircut than the first $250,000.

    Another random thought: imagine what those surgeons could make if they had a plus fastball, a sinking slider and an ERA under 3.0. They’d sign with the Phillies!

  6. […] few days ago I proposed a tongue-in-cheek “solution” to the health care cost problem: capping doctor pay. In a few weeks we will (hopefully) write a series of posts on the Big Questions: natural law, […]

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