Survey: Docs No Fan of ObamaCare

Bob Beauprez
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Posted: Dec 30, 2011 12:01 AM

If ObamaCare is such a good deal, you can’t tell by asking a doctor.  That’s the conclusion of a national survey of 501 doctors conducted by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions. 

Only 27 percent of physicians believe ObamaCare will reduce healthcare costs, and half of the doctors believe access to healthcare will decrease due to hospital closures resulting from the new law. 

Barack Obama and the proponents of the legislation claimed cost reduction and improved access as cornerstone promises of the massive takeover of the health care industry. 

Equally as damning of an indictment is that 73 percent of doctors are “not excited about the future of medicine,” according to the survey.  And, 69 percent believe the profession will no longer be the choice for the “best and brightest” of America’s young people. 

“Most physicians believe payment reforms…will reduce their incomes and increase their administrative costs for needed infrastructure and quality measurement,” the survey concluded.  Paul Keckley, Ph.D, the executive director of the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, noted that “effective reform (of health care) has to consider the physician’s view as a starting point.”  However, Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid weren't going to be bothered by asking doctors how to fix what doctors do every day. 

The doctors also expect demand for their services will increase because of the millions of newly insured by the legislation without a proportionate increase in the number of physicians entering the profession.  As a result, they expect frustrated doctors to leave their practices for administrative health care jobs or change professions completely, further compounding the problem. 

Other findings of the study include:

  • Nearly three-quarters of respondents think that emergency rooms could get overwhelmed if primary care physician appointments are full as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, ObamaCare.
  • More than 80 percent believe it is likely that wait times for primary care appointments will increase because of a lack of providers. More than half indicate that other medical professionals (physician assistants, nurse practitioners) will deliver primary care both independently and as an adjunct to physician services.
  • Many doctors consider a practice in a large integrated health system or concierge medicine practice a viable alternative to private practice.
  • Surgical specialists (57 percent) are much more likely to support the law's repeal compared to primary-care providers (38 percent) and non-surgical specialists (34 percent). They are also more likely to say the legislation is a step in the wrong direction and believe their net income will decrease as a result of reform.
  • There is a disparity among generations, as 59 percent of physicians 50 to 59 years old feel PPACA is a step in the wrong direction while only 36 percent of those ages 25 to 39 share this sentiment. Physicians aged 25 to 39 are also more likely than older doctors (ages 40 to 59) to think the transition to evidence-based medicine will improve care.

Link to the full survey here