Tuesday, February 15, 2011

There are not enough doctors for the Health Reform

What Health Reform Missed: The Doctor Shortage
Published February 15, 2011
Health reform seeks to provide coverage for all Americans, anywhere estimated 30 million to 47 million--depending on how it’s counted--who don’t have coverage today. It seeks to stop the insurance industry’s insidious practice of knocking out people if they have pre-existing conditions, and the reform bill seeks to rope into the system healthy strapping young people.

The demand side of this story goes like this: A new mandate penalty against those who refuse coverage will mean a massive influx of new insurance entrants, more revenues for the insurance industry, and the bill will pay for itself. That’s the theory in Washington, DC.

But DC policymakers have missed one key and crucial point. The United States is facing a growing shortage of doctors, says the American College of Physicians. And the missing doctor supply side of DC’s argument is worse than realized. Because of this looming doctor shortage, health reform essentially will create market forces that will enact rationing of care. Picking up where insurers left off when it comes to rationing.

Notably missing are doctors in key specialties, in general internal medicine and family medicine—the specialties that provide primary care to most adult and adolescent patients, says the American College of Physicians (ACP). The nation’s top group of doctors notes that a recent peer-reviewed study estimates that there will be a shortage of an estimated 35,000 to 44,000 primary care physicians for adults.

Read more: http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2011/02/15/health-reform-missed-doctor-shortage/#ixzz1E34eZLxk