The Fourth Obamacare Shock Wave Is About To Reach Us

Obamacare is intensifying the doctor shortage – though not in ways that were anticipated.

Everybody seems to have expected that Obamacare would sign up some 30 million people who don’t have health insurance, and they would overwhelm doctors’ offices.  But these people – especially the young and healthy whose sky-high Obamacare premiums were supposed to finance everybody else’s subsidies – have stayed away.  They know a bad deal when they see one.

Everybody seems to have expected that Obamacare would sign up some 30 million people who don’t have health insurance, and they would overwhelm doctors’ offices.  But these people – especially the young and healthy whose sky-high Obamacare premiums were supposed to finance everybody else’s subsidies – have stayed away.  They know a bad deal when they see one.

Although the young and healthy aren’t going for Obamacare, the doctor shortage is intensifying, because government intervention generally is making it more expensive and difficult for doctors to do their job.

Government-run Romneycare – the model used for Obamacare – was enacted in Massachusetts in 2006, and a recent survey by the Massachusetts Medical Society found that half the state’s primary care practices aren’t accepting new patients.  At practices accepting new patients, the average wait to see a family physician is 39 days, and the average wait to see an internal medicine physician is 50 days.

Because so many people in Massachusetts don’t have a doctor, there has been a sharp increase in the number of emergency room visits.  Stressed-out emergency room nurses are talking about possible strikes.

Medicare has multiplied the number of people who can’t see a doctor.  Medicare reimbursement rates are about 40 percent less than private insurance reimbursement rates.  Consequently, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the number of doctors who no longer accept Medicare patients has tripled during the last three years.

Only about half of doctors  accept new Medicaid  patients, and the number appears to be declining as a consequence of lagging reimbursement rates, long reimbursement delays and high administrative burdens associated with Medicaid patients.  Yet Obamacare is rapidly expanding the number of people on Medicaid.

find out more about Obamacare reimbursement rates and other info here 

About Concierge Medicine Journal

Concierge Medicine Journal (CMJ) curates breaking concierge medicine news, and editorial opinion on a wide variety of topics relevant to the practice of Concierge Medicine.

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