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A shrinking supply of . . . shrinks

2015-09-08T22:35:23+00:00

Apparently the supply of psychiatrists, or head-shrinkers (“shrinks”) is dwindling. Almost two-thirds of all psychiatrists in the United States are 55 years old or older, which means they are aging out of the workforce. They are not being replaced very quickly, because psychiatrists tend to be paid less than other equivalent medical doctors, in part because health insurance payments are lower for mental health treatments than for other kinds of treatments, when insurance covers mental health at all. For this reason, more and more psychiatrists are dropping insurance plans and requiring cash-only treatment. I don’t blame them. Why bother with taking a chance on getting stiffed by the insurance company when you can instead compel payment directly from the patient? Like all other kinds of services, healthcare should be a cash transaction between the patient who can afford to pay, and their doctor. If the patient can’t afford to pay, then the patient doesn’t get treatment. Q.E.D. Healthcare is not a right; it is a commodity to be paid for, like any other commodity.

The article also points out that “Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, Connecticut and New York have more than 15 psychiatrists per 100,000 people, while Wyoming, Texas, Iowa, Mississippi, Indiana, Nevada and Idaho have fewer than six.” Perhaps you’ve heard that liberalism is a mental illness. Note that the states with an abundance of psychiatrists are dominated by liberals, while states with a dearth of psychiatrists are dominated by conservatives.

I think that makes perfect sense. Psychiatrists go where their services are needed the most: liberal states.

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