The Last Medscape 2012 Election Survey

Carol Peckham


November 01, 2012

In This Article

Survey 2: After the Supreme Court's Ruling (End of June)

On June 28, 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that 2 key and controversial provisions contained in the ACA were constitutional: the individual mandate and the expansion of Medicaid in the states. Our second survey questioned our members about their response to the ruling before asking them again who they would vote for at the time. We received slightly over 3000 responses to this survey.

The Medscape survey first asked its members whether they approved the Supreme Court's upholding of individual mandate, by considering it a tax rather than as falling under the umbrella of the Interstate Commerce Act. They split nearly in half, with 49.1% of respondents approving and 48.7% disapproving of the mandate.

When asked whether this ruling would disrupt their practice, nearly 35% thought it would disrupt healthcare and affect their practice; 16% believed it would not affect them, and 21% believed it would improve patient care The rest didn't know or said that it didn't apply to their practice.

The Court also ruled that the federal government could expand the state-administered Medicaid healthcare program by extending eligibility for the program to millions of currently ineligible low-income individuals. However, states that chose not to comply could not be penalized by having basic Medicaid funds withheld. Over 41% of those who responded said that they already treat or plan to treat Medicaid patients. However, 19.5% indicated that although they treat such patients now, they will not add any new ones. And 23% don't take these patients now and won't add any new ones.

When asked how the system could be improved, health professionals took widely divergent stances. More than one quarter of respondents think that the system should be rethought as market-driven, and 24% think government should stay out of healthcare completely. Over 34%, however, would prefer a single-payer system.

Finally, when members were asked who they would vote for, in this survey Romney was ahead:

Barack Obama 44%
Mitt Romney 49%
Neither/undecided 8%