Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 22, 2014

Doctors Moving Away from Republican Candidates

Jason Millman: “A new study suggests a profession once solidly aligned with Republicans has become more Democratic in the past 20 years, as the number of female doctors grows and the traditional small physician’s office is on the wane.”

“In the last three election cycles, physician donations to Republicans have instead closely tracked to those made by the general population, according to JAMA Internal Medicine study authors Adam Bonica of Stanford University, Howard Rosenthal of New York University, and David J. Rothman of the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons.”

jamadonations Doctors Moving Away from Republican Candidates

The study authors ask: “Now that the medical profession sits on both sides of the political aisle, will the Republican and Democratic parties devote unprecedented energy and shape policy to attract physician loyalty? Or will the increasing polarization of the profession increase the political participation of physicians even as it reduces the ability of physicians to reach consensus on health care policy?”

  • rarey4

    Guess Obama care isn’t that bad.

  • Lorehead

    One factor in this, I think, is that Republicans want public policy to favor people whose income comes from capital over people whose income comes from labor, and lenders over debtors. Doctors go into a lot of debt to earn high salaries.

    • embo66

      I suspect a bigger factor is Republican dismissal of all efforts to get more people insured and getting preventive care & seeing doctors, which M.D.s would favor for two reasons: It’s easier to help or cure patients BEFORE the emergency room, and it’s better on the wallet to see more patients, period.

      • Lorehead

        Remember, this is a twenty-year trend, so it’s not about Obamacare. It did start around the same time as the Democrats proposed Hillarycare (and the Oregon Health Plan), but then they shied away from health-care reform until around 2008.

        My personal suspicion is that what’s really going on is demographics. One-third of actively-licensed (that is, not retired) physicians are now female, compared to fewer than ten percent in 1970. Women are more likely than men to be Democrats.

        • moderatesunite

          I also suspect demographics are a large(possibly the largest) factor here. However, I’m unsure if that alone is enough to explain the full drop

        • embo66

          I never meant to imply it was all about “Obamacare,” per se.

          But if you look at the graph, it shows doctor support for Republicans went up after Hillary Clinton proposed her healthcare reform in 1993 (not the timeline you claim). It only begins to decline during Clinton’s second term.

          Then support really starts to go down in the Bush years. And it hits its lowest point on the entire timeline during the 2008 election — wherein, until the economy died, “expanding health insurance” was usually listed as the top concern of voters.

          But support for the GOP then spikes upward again as the medical community starts to fear the consequences of the ACA.

          I’m just saying that an increase in female doctors (or even doctor debt) doesn’t really help explain these patterns. To me, they seem more driven by policies and attitudes toward health insurance and by extension, health care.

  • Yonatan YONATAN

    I THINK THAT MILLIONS MORE PLAN TO MOVE AWAY FROM THE REPUBLICANS ALSO. THE REPUBLICANS AND THE DEMOCRATS HAVE FAILED THE MORE THAN 2.6 MILLION UNEMPLOYED FAMILIES WITHOUT AN EXTENSION OF UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS SINCE LATE LAST DECEMBER. OVER THE PAST FIVE AND A HALF MONTHS, MANY FAMILIES HAVE FACED EVICTIONS, HOME FORECLOSURES, BANKRUPTCY, AND HOMELESSNESS, WHILE THE SENATE HOLDS THE EXTENSION BILL HOSTAGE, REFUSING TO PASS THE BILL. ALTHOUGH BILLIONS HAVE BEEN RECENTLY APPROVED FOR THE UKRAINE, THE REPUBLICANS FEEL THAT THESE AMERICAN FAMILIES DON’T DESERVE THE HELP. THEY’VE CALLED THESE WORKERS “LAZY” AND HAVE BLAMED THEM FOR THEIR CIRUMSTANCE. THESE POLITICIANS HAVE SHOWN LITTLE COMPASSION AND COMMON DECENCY TOWARDS THESE FAMILIES IN DIRE FINANCIAL NEED. WE NEED TO VOTE THESE CAREER POLITICIANS OUT OF OFFICE

  • Buzz Allnight

    Donations of money does not show us how many doctors are rerpublican and how many are democrat.

    • txlakedude

      Probably never will, as in the Citizen United movement, so many billionaires are buying elections, any thoughts in your post, will never be accurate

  • txlakedude

    Doctors should, sue the Republicans for malpractice !!!

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