Now media notice: Obamacare worsens CA physician shortage

April 14, 2013

By Chris Reed

new-york-post-obamacareAmong the many severe problems with Obamacare that a cheerleading media chose to ignore in the run-up to its March 2010 enactment, perhaps the most obvious was the fact that it would be impossible to sharply expand medical coverage in a thoughtful way in a nation where many states already had shortages of primary-care or “family” physicians.

California is one of those states. California also has the nation’s oldest coterie of family doctors. Ergo, California was sure to be severely stressed by Obamacare. Now, 37 months after its passage, the state’s media is finally pointing this out. On Friday, the San Jose Mercury-News editorial board shared some grim truths:

“California doesn’t have enough primary care physicians. Forty-two of its 58 counties fall short of the federal government’s most basic standard. The state needs another 2,000 doctors, and the situation will get dramatically worse next year — even in Silicon Valley =– when 2-4 million Californians obtain health insurance under Obamacare and go looking for a doctor.

“The California Medical Association wants to build more medical schools and expand opportunities for young doctors. Good plan — but thinking it will solve the immediate problem is like expecting a Band-Aid to heal a bullet wound. Training a doctor takes a decade. That’s a long time for a patient to sit in a waiting room.”

Health providers already ‘overwhelmed’ even before expansion

And then there was this today from the Torrance Daily Breeze and, presumably, other Los Angeles Newspaper Group members:

“The state’s publicly funded health insurance program for low-income and disabled residents will soon launch a huge statewide expansion. But making a promise of health care is one thing, and delivering is another.

“In some places, it’s already difficult for many poor California residents with state Medi-Cal insurance to find a doctor who is able — or willing — to care for them.

“Health providers throughout the Southland who currently see these patients say they are overwhelmed and underfunded, a situation that could worsen when those newly covered by Medi-Cal arrive for care on Jan. 1, 2014, when the program is expanded.

“More than 7 million Californians are now covered under Medi-Cal, California’s version of Medicaid, and expanding the program is a major piece of President Obama’s signature health law, the Affordable Care Act. Between 2014 and 2019, roughly 1 million to 1.4 million more Californians will enroll in Medi-Cal as a result, according to UCLA and UC Berkeley estimates.”

Now the California media think this angle is important?

Not in 2009 and early 2010, as the Affordable Care Act was being debated and allegedly refined?

Now the California media points out this stark, ugly truth, that a strained system is near-certain to become a dysfunctional one, where a shortage of doctors is likely to be addressed by pretending nurses are doctors?

Thanks, California media. Thanks so much.



Write a comment
  1. Mark
    Mark 14 April, 2013, 11:22

    Then “why”? Why, why, why is Obamacare being allowed to go forward?? Doctors will go bankrupt, people will wait months to get medical care, businesses will be shuttered due to outrageously high taxes, and people will die untreated.

    WHY is Obamacare being allowed to go forward??? And don’t say “because it’s the law”. Laws can be repealed.

    Obamacare is a huge disaster that we can see coming. And yet, nobody does anything about it. I think the first thing that should be done is to collect enough support to force the Washington DC congress OFF their plans and onto Obamacare, then make their primary (them and their families) doctors’ in the worst part of town. If that was done, you’d see action in a big hurry.

    But barring that, there needs to be a grassroots movement to stop this monstrosity NOW.

    Reply this comment
  2. Richard Rider
    Richard Rider 14 April, 2013, 11:26

    The good news is that this doctor shortage will lessen opposition to giving nurse practitioners more latitude in providing medical services, which actually IS a good idea. However, I suspect that when the bedpan orderlies and candy stripers start practicing medicine, doubtless some malcontents might complain.

    We should expect a 2-tier system to develop. The well-to-do (and those with great health insurance) will see doctors far easier than the great unwashed.

    One thing’s for sure — President Obama, Governor Brown and our heroic legislators (at every level) will have tier 1 coverage. You and me? Not so much.

    Reply this comment
  3. Tax Target
    Tax Target 14 April, 2013, 12:21

    Here’s another reality: Do you really believe that you can recruit primary care physicians to this TAX HELL HOLE? Physicians just like others will carefully evaluate the opportunities in economic terms. Guess what… there’s a lot of other places for physicians to go where they don’t get taxed to oblivion. So good luck getting those well trained, talented primary care physicians who are being sought after all over the country…

    Reply this comment
  4. Brown delta trout
    Brown delta trout 14 April, 2013, 14:18

    Relax, it’s just a tax, it will do it’s work of raising costs to the taxpayer. With a name like “Affordable Health Care” you know it was never intended to be a deluxe plan, it’s all about the numbers, a way to squish more smelt thru the pump and blow them out onto the tulips. Fish food fertilizer to grow provisions for the top of the government food chain.

    Reply this comment
  5. us citizen
    us citizen 14 April, 2013, 16:29

    And the universities that pump out doctors still will only pump out so many. That is what keeps their salaries high. Good ol’ suppy and demand folks.

    Reply this comment
  6. Bob Smith
    Bob Smith 14 April, 2013, 18:49

    “Do you really believe that you can recruit primary care physicians to this TAX HELL HOLE?”

    Yes, you just need to find their price. You may not want to pay it, but there is some price at which they will come.

    Reply this comment
  7. us citizen
    us citizen 14 April, 2013, 20:54

    Price/money/salary, doesnt always out weigh inconvenience and frustration.

    Reply this comment
  8. Hondo
    Hondo 15 April, 2013, 09:58

    Obama said that Obamacare would not cover illegals. Now that he is making all illegals legal, that adds 10’s of millions to the patient rolls that weren’t funded in the bill. Bless their hard working immigrant hearts, but the USSA can’t afford to provide healthcare to the planet earth.
    And as for the doctor shortage, Amerika will just start importing doctors from the turd world to staff our hospitals like they are doing in Londonstan right now. That means we will be getting third world care and also depriving the third world of doctors.
    Sac town is about to lose their NBA basketball team to lower taxed Washington state. The Lakers lost La Bron to no tax Miami. Like wise, doctors will be loath to practice medicine in a hi tax state like Kalifornia. Only the rich will be able to afford to travel to Florida or Texas to get health care.

    Reply this comment
  9. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 15 April, 2013, 13:16

    Bunker types will deluged with $2500. per month family health insurance on those super competitive health exchanges come this fall.

    Doomers will go from chicken wings and Corona’s watching football games to Costco cheese sandwiches and Kool Aid to save a few bucks.

    Socialism will be affordable for about 30 percent of your neighbors thanks to you.

    Reply this comment
  10. Queeg
    Queeg 15 April, 2013, 13:18

    Uhaul is wringing his hands about the health exchanges.

    Reply this comment
  11. Brown delta trout
    Brown delta trout 15 April, 2013, 14:35

    Queeg, how’s the food in the internment camp?

    Reply this comment
  12. Diana
    Diana 15 April, 2013, 17:39

    Bottom line, every American will have some basic level of health care — some how, some way, with some provider. We already have a two-tier system: those with and those without. No American should be without health care. The market will find new ways to deliver what consumers need.

    Reply this comment
  13. Queeg
    Queeg 15 April, 2013, 18:09

    Delta. Uhaul treats us good.

    He give generous bonuses for moving doomers. We work lots of hours, but the work is so so rewarding.

    Reply this comment
  14. fish
    fish 16 April, 2013, 15:55

    God you guys freak me out when you argue with each other….err….I mean when you argue with yourself. Thanks for using different voices so I can follow the conversation though.

    You don’t often find that level of courtesy in the desperately mentally ill.

    Reply this comment
  15. Brown delta trout
    Brown delta trout 16 April, 2013, 21:27

    I thought you were shipping dissenters to the internment camps for reeducation?

    Reply this comment

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