Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Tax Credits to Help Society Balance the Physician Supply.
Here's to your health America. Tax credits were used to help spur Hybrid Car sales, but were limited to a specific amount per car model, so as not to just be a giveaway once that model's market was established. What does this have to do with health care? Or is this just another post about the bailout? I'll tell you, and no. We need more General Practicing Physicians and we need to slow the growth in specialists. So, once again, enter the tax credit. Every year, for 15 years from when a new physician would enter medicine, and of course they would have to verify they have remained a general practitioner, they would get a tax credit equal to 3.5% of what they paid for medical school. After 15 years they would have saved over half of what they paid. Practice generally for less than 5 years and owe back whatever credits they received. 5-10 years they owe back half of what they received. 10-15 years, they owe back a quarter of the benefit they received. Within a decade we should have corrected the imbalance. If after 2-3 years of the start of this program, we are finding the credits do not outweigh the perceived benefits of being a specialist, we can increase and accelerate the credits. Once we have the proper balance, we can use credits to address whatever new areas need to be adjusted, or to keep people continuing in those practice areas most beneficial to society. The risk of physicians who practiced 10-15 years wanting to then change course to pursue a specialty would be small.