74% of Physicians Demand Changes to Obamacare

Slight majority of physicians view Obamacare unfavorably

Doctor listens to patient's heartbeat / AP
• January 30, 2017 6:13 pm


Seventy-four percent of primary care physicians favor changing Obamacare, while 15 percent said they would like to see outright repeal of the law, according to a report from the New England Journal of Medicine.

The journal interviewed 426 primary care physicians about their thoughts on health care policy because of their central role in the health care system. Primary care physicians usually have longstanding relationships with patients, offering them advice about their health care decisions.

A majority of physicians, or 52 percent, expressed an unfavorable view of Obamacare, while 48 percent had a favorable view of the law. Thirty-two percent of Republican physicians wanted to repeal Obamacare, while no Democratic physicians wanted repeal.

Nearly all physicians, or 95.1 percent, said they thought provisions for individuals with preexisting conditions were very or somewhat important in improving the health of the population. Eighty-eight percent said they wanted to allow young adults to stay on their parents' health insurance plan until age 26.

Both provisions are included in Obamacare. President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) have said they support keeping those provisions in any Republican plan to replace Obamacare.

A majority of physicians, 68.7 percent, said the use of health savings accounts should increase. Slightly less than half, 49.5 percent, favor keeping the individual mandate, which has been maintained in many Republican replacement plans.

Physicians also expressed support for other components of Obamacare, such as tax credits for small businesses (90.8 percent), tax subsidies to individuals (75.2 percent) and expanding Medicaid (72.9 percent).

"Physicians responded most negatively to policies that would shift more costs to consumers through high-deductible health plans," the report states. "Physicians responded most favorably to policy proposals that might increase choice for consumers, such as creating a public option resembling Medicare to compete with private plans, providing tax credits to allow people who are eligible for Medicaid to purchase private health insurance, and increasing the use of health savings accounts."

Rep. Tom Price (R., Ga.), an orthopedic surgeon and President Donald Trump's nominee for secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, has said Obamacare burdens physicians.

The Department of Health and Human Services did not respond to requests for comment by press time.

Published under: Obamacare