The potential of health care changes to shrink the doctor population, exacerbating scarcity and extending waits, is even worse now that it is apparent that we have overestimated the number of doctors in the U.S. Where we once thought there were 840,000 doctors, the total is now estimated to be only 760,000.
The proposed $400 billion cut in Medicare raises the probability that more and more of those doctors who do practice will refuse to accept Medicare patients, aggravating the doctor shortage among the elderly, the population that needs them the most.
As Obama's program moves through Congress, despite the fierce opposition of a majority of American voters in virtually all the polls, it becomes clear that those moderates who vote for it will face harsh retribution at the polls from their outraged constituents. A kind of suicide-pact mentality is gripping the Democratic majorities in Congress, akin to that which came over it when Congress passed President Clinton's tax package in 1993.
This disregard for the will of the marginal voter may make sense for those who come from safe districts -- it makes none for those who come from swing districts. For them, suicidal conduct leads to political demise.
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