Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sign Of Times Under ObamaCare: 'The Doctor Is Out — Permanently'

This is just a preview of the article by SALLY C. PIPES which paints a bleak picture of the quality of our future health care system and the availability of qualified doctors. It is well worth the read.

President Barack Obama's health care bill aims to achieve universal coverage while at the same time reducing costs. In reality, this contradictory strategy will ensure that Americans enjoy less health care, of poorer quality, and from fewer doctors.

Already Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., says the public option might not be dead if insurance companies do not offer competitive rates within the exchanges. And Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, has revived a proposal that gives the secretary of health and human services the power to review premiums and block any rate increase bound to be "unreasonable."

America's primary care system is already under stress. Low reimbursement rates, bureaucratic paperwork and long hours are driving family physicians out of medicine and pushing new doctors into specialized practices. Half a century ago, one in two doctors practiced general medicine. Today, 7 in 10 specialize.

And the gap is growing. A mere 1 in 12 medical-school graduates now head to family medicine. In 2009, the American Academy of Family Physicians warned that we'd be short 40,000 family doctors in a decade, if present trends continued. Today, medical schools produce one primary care doctor for every two who are needed.

ObamaCare will add strain to an already burdened system. The new bill seeks to increase the load on family doctors while holding the line on costs by putting price controls on government insurance plans. In due course, price controls on private plans will be inevitable.

The problem: Where will the docs come from? They may start coming from the bottom of the class. Or as happened in Canada under a medical system that disallows private health care, it may become cheaper to bring in International Medical Graduates from abroad than to train America's best and brightest at our own medical schools. After all, being a physician under this system will be just another government job.
Read Investors.com article here.

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