Correction Appended: Oct. 19, 2009
It's hard to feel sorry for America's family doctors. Any job that averages $179,000 per year and lets you be your own boss is a job most folks wouldn't turn down. With the effort to rein in health-care costs increasingly framed as an unhappy trade-off in which insurers either slash benefits or raise premiums, some in Washington are beginning to ask a question long considered off-limits: Do we simply pay doctors too much?
The truth is, we pay them all wrong.
Doctors themselves could tell you that particularly primary-care providers (PCPs), the...