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Tuesday, 24 March 2020

With COVID-19 Spreading, Here Are the Best and Worst States for Doctors in 2020

As the global COVID-19 pandemic continues to engulf the United States and its territories, the medical practitioners who treat the afflicted will be the difference between life and death for many patients.
Now more than ever, attracting the most talented doctors is crucial — and to that end, WalletHub ranked 2020’s Best & Worst States for Doctors.
In order to compile the list, all 50 states plus the District of Columbia were ranked based on the metrics of opportunity and competition as well as the overall medical environment.
Opportunity and competition include factors such as physicians’ starting and annual pay; number of hospitals; insured population and those covered by employer-provided plans; proportion of the population who are elderly; current and future competition based on number of physicians and medical residents the geographic area; requirements of continuing education for physicians; and whether the state permits the use of telemedicine from out-of-state doctors.
For the medical environment, WalletHub considered quality and safety of state public hospitals; national accreditation for health departments; per capita number of physician assistants; how punitive the state medical board is; per capita rate of medical malpractice awards; annual premium for malpractice insurance; and doctor “burnout” rates.
After considering all of the data, WalletHub found that the best state in which to be a doctor is Montana, followed by Wisconsin and Idaho.
At the bottom of the list are Connecticut, Rhode Island and, in dead last, New York.
What is immediately apparent from simply comparing the top and bottom three should shock no one: The states that are notoriously overregulated and run by liberal Democrats for decades fare the worst.
In fact, the bottom half of the list reads like a who’s who of historically Democratic states. The 14 worst-ranked states are all Democrat-run states with the notable exception of 47th-ranked Alaska, whose remote location and frigid weather likely account for its lower rank.
Source: WalletHub
While some of the criteria are population-based, a considerable amount of the data includes factors that are directly affected by the politics of each state.
One of the hallmarks of liberal Democrat administrations is the obsession to regulate everything they can sink their legislative claws into, including health care, which becomes apparent when reviewing the states’ rankings.
Regulation is always stifling to industry, but when it comes to the health care industry it is particularly destructive. When a doctor is charged with not only treating a patient but also navigating a labyrinth of red tape, it becomes onerous for the physician and has an impact on both the provider’s bottom line and the ability to treat a large number of patients.
“The amount of paperwork necessary to provide care and be paid for it is significant and having proper compliance programs in place for billing, patient privacy and security, fraud and abuse and employment concerns are significant,” said one of the expert commentators on the piece, Patrick D. Souter, an adjunct instructor in health care studies at the Baylor University law school.
“This cost, when viewed in light of the tightening of reimbursement, creates significant stress for the doctor,” Souter said.
The impact of regulations is most apparent when that rule is temporarily lifted. In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the Trump administration loosened restrictions on innovative care methods such as telehealth consultations to allow patients to be seen by a health care professional remotely.
That is a game-changer in quarantine and personnel shortage situations as well as for residents in underserved or rural areas in more routine medical situations.
The WalletHub study included the ability of doctors to practice in other states and for patients to be treated by out-of-state doctors in their metrics, underscoring the necessity for such innovation.
Then there’s the issue of who pays for health care. Comparing the best and worst states, Montana innovates ways for consumers to purchase their health care, while New York state is $4 billion over budget in the money pit that is its Medicaid system, the New York Post reported.
On a related topic, the bottom three on the list are “sanctuary states” for illegal immigrants. In April, New York pushed for legislation that would stop local law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration officials in detaining suspects based on their immigration status, according to USA Today.
In the same report, California (ranked at No. 38), New Jersey (46) Massachusetts (48) and Connecticut (49) were also cited as sanctuary states, and their position in the bottom 25 percent in the WalletHub list reflects that.
The financial impact of undocumented citizens flooding hospitals puts stress on the entire system, which again figures into the lower rank of liberal states. If more of the population is uninsured and impoverished, the health care system reaches a tipping point and becomes unsustainable.
In an effort to combat the myriad of problems associated with illegal immigration, the Trump administration is pushing back against the sanctuary cities and states, but the damage to the heath care system remains profound.
As liberals are prone to do, former President Barack Obama bragged about the mess that is the Affordable Care Act on Monday, which marked the 10th anniversary of the Obamacare bill’s passage.
The opportunistic Obama took a victory lap and warned, “even as we celebrate, we commit ourselves to protecting the progress we’ve made until we finish the job for good with quality affordable coverage for every single American.”
MUST WATCH: President @BarackObama marks the tenth anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act and calls on the American people to protect the progress we’ve made and thanks for leading the fight. Will you join us? https://www.protectourcare.org/join 

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What he means by “finish the job” is his legislative effort to kill the greatest health care system in the history of the world, of course.
An opinion piece for The Hill by Scott W. Atlas outlined how Obamacare has been a disaster founded upon a demonstrable lie as millions of Americans faced soaring health care costs and decreased coverage despite promises to the contrary.
These policies were already tried and failed in Democrat strongholds, yet Obama and his ilk are still defending what is fiscally and practically indefensible. This list is evidence enough of the destruction of the health care system when Democrats hold the reins.
Medical personnel in all states will valiantly face the crucible that is the coronavirus epidemic. While America will ultimately prevail because of the dedication and hard work of its doctors, those who have the misfortune to practice in liberal-run states will face additional challenges.

Pandemic or not, liberal policies always make things worse.

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