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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Doctors ARE valuable members of society!

You can hear it the way they say provi-i-i-i-ders. You can sense it in the tone of their rhetoric. You can read it in the policy papers. And you can view it on TV during debates and on c-span. Doctors—I'm sorry providers—have become--in the eyes and minds of the policy wonks--drains on the economy.

I am not sure why this is. I simply don't see it this way.

In my little practice, sparsely 2 years old, I employ 4 people. I provide them with health insurance and a retirement plan. Neither the state nor federal government does this.

I pay payroll taxes for each employee and myself. I pay into unemployment insurance and workers comp insurance funds, as well as into the government mandated disability insurance fund. In fact, these "social" programs are not provided for us by our government but by us, the employers. They are simply mandated by the government and funded by business owners.

For every dollar I earn, 70 cents gets returned into the economy. The revenue that I generate—because I provide services that people want--supports medical equipment vendors, insurance personnel, billers, PHARMA sales reps, hospital employees, home health workers, lab personnel, marketers, lawyers, software vendors, hardware vendors, the cable company, the phone company, and others.

I get none of the tax subsidies that are commonly given to big retail businesses, such as Cabella's Sporting Goods or Walmart.

The income that my employees earn pays for consumer goods, which fuels our US economy. Thirty nine percent of my income gets returned to the federal government, and 7% goes to New York State. Ten percent goes to my retirement savings, and the rest is returned to the economy.

Please tell me, Mr Stark, or any other policy maker, how can you have such disdain for us? I just don't get it.

No, I don't see myself as a drain on the economy in any way. I give back, and I give back quite a bit.

I wish that our political leaders and policy makers would see it this way and stop viewing me as a cost center rather than what I truly am—a business owner and an employer and a valuable member of society.

Thanks,

The IU