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Title: Blog by Novelist William S. Frankl, MD

Healthcare Reform Will Worsen U.S. Physician Shortage

The New York Times (7/29/12) reported that expanded health insurance and Medicaid will not produce all the healthcare needed in the country because the country dramatically lacks the number of doctors for the delivery of that care. The Times used Riverside, California, as a base for explaining the dilemma: “the Association of American Medical Colleges estimates that in 2015 the country will have 62,900 fewer doctors than needed. And that number will more than double by 2025. … Even without the health care law, the shortfall of doctors in 2025 would still exceed 100,000.” The Times examined some underlying causes and suggested changes in healthcare delivery, such as “building more walk-in clinics, allowing nurses to provide more care and encouraging doctors to work in teams.”This is almost total nonsense. All these things will do little to change the demographics.

Changes in insurance policy and the management of Medicare and Medicaid, a shift toward medical savings accounts, and, of course, the training of more doctors in medical schools with more innovative teaching methods––– all these are needed to effect significant change.

But of course this is a serious even catastrophic, problem that will only be exacerbated significantly unless ObamaCare is repealed.

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