A majority of physicians would support a health reform proposal that included a public option and traditional private insurance, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The study, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, surveyed 2,130 physicians nationwide and found that 63% supported a plan that contained a public and private alternative, with just 27% supporting a private-only option that would provide subsidies for low-income individuals to purchase insurance.
“We found that no matter how you sliced the data, physicians demonstrated majority support for a public health insurance option, regardless of their type of practice or where they live,” study author Salomeh Keyhani said in a written statement.
In examining physician views on the possibility of Medicare expansion, the researchers found that the majority of physicians surveyed (58%) supported expanding Medicare eligibility to those between the ages of 55 and 64.
In other findings, 57% of the physicians surveyed found Medicare to be better or the same as private insurance in terms of obtaining needed services, while less than half (46%) of physicians who saw patients whose treatment was covered by Medicare in the past five years said they had a better experience with private insurance than traditional Medicare on payment, administrative issues and timeliness of reimbursement.