GOP Senate takeover: Just what the doctor ordered?

No fewer than 11 medical doctors are running for GOP nominations in forthcoming Senate elections. The underlying logic as Obamacare wrecks the medical system is strong. Alexandra Jaffee of The Hill writes:

Eleven Republican doctors are running for the Senate, hoping that voters will see their medical expertise as an asset amid the administration's botched rollout of ObamaCare. 

"Doctors are in a very unique position to look at the financing of healthcare," Rep. Paul Broun, a family physician running for the GOP nomination for Georgia's open Senate seat, told The Hill. (snip)

The Senate counts only three physicians in its ranks. Last year, former Surgeon General Richard Carmona, a Democrat who ran largely on his record in medicine, lost to now-Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.). 

A 2012 Gallup survey rated medical doctors as the third most-trustworthy profession, below only nurses and pharmacists.

In contrast, members of Congress were second from the bottom, considered more trustworthy than only care salespeople.

That makes physician candidates well poised to hammer home a main Republican narrative that has emerged in recent weeks - that Democrats who pledged to Americans they could keep their insurance under ObamaCare are untrustworthy.

John McDonough, director of the Center for Public Health Leadership at Harvard University's School of Public Health, said simply having an "MD" by a candidate's name boosts their credibility. 

The American Medical Association, which represents only a small minority of doctors, endorsed Obamacare. It will incumbent on the physician-candidates to denounce the restrictions on doctor-access through the provider networks being imposed in many plans, and to highlight their desire to bring care to patients, rather than be bureaucrats in a DMV-like system.

Of course, it all depends on the political talents and performance of the physician candidates. A year is a lifetime in politics.

As for the Democrats, I would love to see them run Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the "architect" of Obamacare.


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