The best I could find with a quick google was a link to a book called Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent found here: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1594032556/reasonmagazineA/ . It was an estimate made by the author. It doesn't sound like a study that would hold up to peer review was done to make the point. It sounds like his main focus is Internet-related felonies due to the mass of new internet-based laws.
I think you misunderstood the meaning due to poor sentence structure. It looks to me like the commenter meant to say that it is important to ensure the population has a minimum base pay that would permit both enough food to eat and to be able to afford basic health care.
It doesn't look to me like they were implying that doctor's were not getting paid enough.
I believe they can. It would be similar to requiring you to provide keys to a suitcase. Of course, if you refuse, my understanding is that you not only get in trouble but they'll just take the laptop off-site to be worked on more thoroughly.
Best solution is probably a hidden True Crypt drive. I highly doubt most of these folks could find one and if what is visible is mundane there would be no reason to look hard. Of course, that's assuming you are not actually smuggling something illegal on the laptop and just want to keep your personal or coporate data private.
If you are smuggling illegal content across a border on a laptop, well, you're just not very smart.