Sunday, June 28, 2009

Obamacare Won't Survive
Coming Doctor Shortage

Editorial - June 27th, 2009 - Washington Examiner

President Obama's ambitious plan for radically increasing the government's role in the nation's health care system misses one critical detail: There aren't enough primary care physicians in America now and their numbers are declining. That means government won't be able to deliver the expanded health care Obama is promising to millions of uninsured people. With access to primary care already deteriorating in many parts of the country, Obamacare will make it even harder to get a doctor's appointment without a lengthy wait. "The politicians don't talk about who's going to do this extra work," Dr. Jane Orient, executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons and author of the 1993 book "Your Doctor Is Not In," told The Examiner. "Promised coverage is not the same thing as care. All you're getting is a place in the waiting lines."

A survey of 270,000 primary care physicians last November by the Physicians Foundation found that 76 percent described themselves as "overextended or overworked." As a result, 30 percent plan to see fewer patients or scale back to part-time, 13 percent will look for a job that does not involve patient care, and 11 percent plan to retire. Since a third of all Medicare patients already have trouble finding a doctor to treat them, under Obamacare those waiting lines will be very, very long indeed.

I have a friend who is a doctor. She dislikes my statement to her that many doctors are the new slaves, and it is about to get worse. Even populists like Bill O'Reilly think socialized medicine is the way to go. Everyone says, medicine is different. Free enterprise is not the way to go in medicine. Yet our current system delivers more quality health care than any other system in the world. That is ignored in this rush to focus on the shortcomings in the reality of life.

85% of Americans have health insurance and 90% of them rate their insurance as "excellent". That means we have a system that serves 230 million people with excellent health care. Show me any system that comes close. Critics love to focus on the fact that it does not serve people who cannot afford health care quite as well. It is a delusion that making it serve these people with "affordable" health care will not destroy the current great health care system. The attempt to force banks to provide "affordable" housing destroyed our home market with sub-prime loans. Affordable health care will create excess demand and cause inflation in the short term. In the long term it will destroy health care for those who currently get it.

Our health care system actually does serve the poor in our nation already. They have to stand in line at emergency rooms and it is not as convenient as having a personal physician. Some even fall through the cracks and die because they cannot pay. Demanding that everyone get excellent health care for FREE will not fix this though. It will simply kill a lot more people and destroy the current system. That the changes will make things worse is the reality that Democrats always ignore.

How many times does government interference have to deliver a disaster before people stop thinking that if they just listen to those politicians the world would be a perfect place? Affordable health care is about to become the same kind of disaster that affordable housing became. The reality is that Barack Obama and the Democrat Party are not going to deliver affordable health care to anyone.

I can guarantee you they are going to look for scapegoats for the disaster that they are creating. Some of those scapegoats are going to be doctors who have the arrogance to think that they can stop being doctors when the job becomes slavery for more of them. When Democrats need them to provide for the health care of millions who do not pay for it, they will make them work or punish them for daring to have studied medicine and not "pay society back" for their education. Tyrants can always find an excuse.


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