WAMU 88.5 : The Big Fix

Incentivizing Medical Education, Primary Care

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Chip from California wants communities to sponsor the education of doctors in exchange for free or reduced medical care. Guest Tom Scully says some forms of this idea exist already, so it is a sound idea. Fellow guest Ron Pollack likes the idea, but does not think that rural communities that might benefit the most would be able to afford it.

Stots from Virginia proposes reimbursing physicians in general practice and specialties the same amount. Pollack supports incentives to get more medical students in primary care and thinks we should explore different ways to pay doctors. Scully likes incentivizing primary care, but says it is politically difficult to lower payments to specialists.

Susan Levin , director of nutrition education at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, suggests ending subsidies for meat and dairy producers. She believes subsidies artificially lower the price of meat and dairy leading to overconsumption and health problems. Scully agrees, but says it is politically challenging to curb agricultural subsidies. Pollack says the agricultural subsidy program is outdated and is most likely to change slowly.

In our "Little Fix," host Al Lewis wants to let small businesses stop accepting pennies if they round up to the nearest nickel on all cash transactions.

Music: "Somebody Get Me A Doctor" by Van Halen; "First Breath After Coma" by Explosions In The Sky 

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