Now media notice: Obamacare worsens CA physician shortage

by CalWatchdog Staff | April 14, 2013 11:00 am

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 truth[1]s:

“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[2] 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.


  1. grim truth:
  2. Torrance Daily Breeze:

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