Wednesday, October 13, 2010

There won't be a doctor in the house

Just when we're increasing the demand for doctors, we're facing a shortage of doctors. And a lot of the problem is government influence.
This disease can be traced back to 1997, when Congress, anticipating a doctor surplus, included a section in its budget-balancing law that froze the number of Medicare-sponsored residency positions.

But instead of a surplus, a shortage soon developed, and has worsened over the years, now reaching epidemic proportions. The Association of American Medical Colleges Center for Workforce Studies just reported an anticipated shortage of 90,000 doctors of all kinds over the next decade, with half of them being primary care physicians and the other half surgeons and specialists.
Ah, the joys of government interfering in the market.

Just when we have increasing numbers of aging Americans, more government actions are decreasing our numbers of doctors.
According to a recent national survey, less than half of the nation's doctors are seeing new Medicaid patients. The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission recently reported that 28% of patients seeking a new Medicare provider were unable to find one. This problem will only get worse as the new Independent Medicare Advisory Panel decides which services are beneficial and which aren't, tying the treating hands of doctors who are still trying to work with Medicare.
We're going to need more and more doctors, people who have had the specialist training to deal with all the modern medical technology and treatments being developed, yet government actions are adding to a looming shortage, just when ObamaCare's provisions will increase the demand for medical care. And the market won't be able to right itself because the government has done too much to interfere with the normal movement of the marketplace.


tfhr said...

Now that Obama has made the Federal Government the sole source of student loans, perhaps a 5:1 or 10:1 ratio of medical students to law students could be put in place when it comes to availability of educational funds? A medical education cost much more than a law degree but certainly we could use more doctors than lawyers. I'd gladly save the funds spent to put ten or more JDs through the mill and put it toward a medical doctor or two.

Sarcasm aside, maybe with a little less government intrusion into these and other processes, we might have avoided this sorry situation in the first place.

The free market is the answer.

Bachbone said...

Remember that HillaryCare would have proscribed the fields in which physicians could have trained. Rumors that St. Hillary will resign as SOS and run for the presidency in 2012 ought not put much of a smile on conservatives' faces.