Posts Tagged ‘burdened system’

ObamaCare Driving Essential Primary Care Physicans Out Of Medicine

April 25, 2010

Does this sound good to you?

Sign Of Times Under ObamaCare: ‘The Doctor Is Out — Permanently’
By SALLY C. PIPES Posted 06:51 PM ET

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.

And while the full effects of ObamaCare might not be felt until Tax Day 2014, the promise of free health care to millions of Americans will begin to prove hollow long before then.

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.

We saw them come into effect on April 1 in Massachusetts, when the state Division of Insurance rejected 235 of 274 premium increases proposed by insurers for individuals and small businesses. The rate increases — ranging from 8% to 32% — were deemed excessive.

The combination of increased coverage and emphasis on primary care, experts say, will increase demand for primary care docs by as much as 29%, or 44,000 doctors, over the next 15 years.

But just as demand is increasing, doctors are making plans to exit. A 2009 survey by medical recruiters Merritt Hawkins found that 10% of respondents were planning to leave medicine within three years.

Another poll of physicians conducted in 2009 by Investor’s Business Daily found that 45% of doctors would consider early retirement if ObamaCare passed.

Obama and the Democrats lied about their ObamaCare boondoggle reducing the costs of healthcare.  It RAISES the cost of healthcare by $311 billion when the last thing we need is more out-of-control government spending.

We also find that basically one out of every six hospitals (fifteen percent) are probably going to close under ObamaCare as they get nickeled and dimed right out of business.

Then you add the fact that doctors are saying that they are going to leave medicine in droves as they similarly get nickeled and dimed and regulated out of medicine.

So we’re talking about adding millions of new patients (including illegal immigrants, almost certainly), while dramatically reducing the number of doctors and hospitals who would treat those patients.

If I wanted to crash the American health care system, that’s pretty much how I’d do it.