Doctors are pleading with Congress to reverse the 3.4% cut in Medicare payments that took effect this month. In a recent interview, the head of the American Medical Association, Dr. Jesse Ehrenfeld, called the policy “unconscionable,” adding that “physicians continue to struggle.”
If American physicians think they have it rough, they should consider the plight of their peers across the Atlantic. U.K. doctors are so poorly compensated that, earlier this month, junior physicians in England staged a six-day strike — the longest in the 75-year history of the government-run National Health Service. Junior doctors in Wales launched a three-day strike of their own on January 15.
These are just the latest instances of NHS workers walking off the job to demand better pay. The protests should serve as a reminder to U.S. doctors — and indeed, all Americans — of the dangers inherent to government-run health care.