Tags: Barack Obama | Healthcare Reform | Obamacare | doctors | physicians | ACA

Physicians: Obamacare Shortchanges Doctors, Patients

By    |   Tuesday, 09 December 2014 04:05 PM

With a growing, aging U.S. population, the demand for physicians has increased and communities the country are already experiencing doctor shortages. According to estimates by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the United States faces a shortage of more than 130,000 doctors by 2025.

The shortage "is equally distributed among primary care and medical specialties such as general surgery, cardiology, and oncology," according to the AAMC, which says that 250,000 doctors are "likely to retire" by 2020.

Critics say a growing body of evidence suggests that President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act and the massive amount of bureaucracy and paperwork included in it is probably not attracting more people into the medical profession or encouraging veteran doctors to postpone retirement.

The Physicians Foundation recently released the results of its 2014 Survey of American Physicians, which found that of 20,000 doctors surveyed, 46 percent gave Obamacare a grade of "D" or "F," while just 25 percent gave it an "A" or "B."

In their comments, doctors complained about the vast amount of bureaucracy that has been added to the medical profession.

"Get government out of healthcare," one wrote.

Another complained: "I'm a Canadian physician practicing in the United States. The politicians and policymakers need to understand that government involvement in healthcare never works."

One wrote that "health reform would be better served by removing many thousands of pages of laws and bureaucrats rather than adding many thousands of pages of laws and bureaucrats," the Washington Examiner reported.

Jeffrey A. Singer, an Arizona doctor with more than 30 years’ experience in the medical profession, wrote that Obamacare had created a deluge of paperwork and reporting requirements" which hampered his ability to devote time to patients.

"I now spend roughly half my time on data entry and administrative work," he added. "I feel more like a data-entry clerk than a doctor. Surely this time would be better spent in the treatment room or on the phone with patients conducting follow-ups."

In some markets, doctors are reluctant to take on patients who bought health insurance plans through the state and federal exchanges that were created by Obamacare.

"I think doctors have a couple of problems with the exchange policies," said Dr. Austin King, an otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat specialist) in Texas.

King, who is president of the Texas Medical Association, said that doctors are wary of the Obamacare provision giving individuals with subsidized coverage a 90-day grace period before they lose coverage for failing to pay the premium.

Doctors fear they could be forced to pay for care provided to people who lose their coverage, King told HealthDay.News.

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With a growing, aging U.S. population, the demand for physicians has increased and communities the country are already experiencing doctor shortages.
Obamacare, doctors, physicians, ACA
Tuesday, 09 December 2014 04:05 PM
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