What kind of joke is this? I thought Obama repealed the law of supply and demand.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Getting face time with the family doctor could soon become even harder.
A shortage of primary care physicians in some parts of the country is expected to worsen as millions of newly insured Americans gain coverage under the federal health care law next year. Doctors could face a backlog, and patients could find it difficult to get quick appointments.
Attempts to address the provider gap have taken on increased urgency ahead of the law’s full implementation Jan. 1, but many of the potential solutions face a backlash from influential groups or will take years to bear fruit.
Lobbying groups representing doctors have questioned the safety of some of the proposed changes, argued they would encourage less collaboration among health professionals and suggested they could create a two-tiered health system offering unequal treatment.
Bills seeking to expand the scope of practice of dentists, dental therapists, optometrists, psychologists, nurse practitioners and others have been killed or watered down in numerous states. Other states have proposed expanding student loan reimbursements, but money for doing so is tight.
As fixes remain elusive, the shortfall of primary care physicians is expected to grow.
Nearly one in five Americans already lives in a region designated as having a shortage of primary care physicians, and the number of doctors entering the field isn’t expected keep pace with demand. About a quarter million primary care doctors work in America now, and the Association of American Medical Colleges projects the shortage will reach almost 30,000 in two years and will grow to about 66,000 in little more than a decade. In some cases, nurses and physician assistants help fill in the gap.