Here Comes the Doctor Shortage

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Posted: Apr 13, 2010 9:38 AM
Once again, conservatives' concerns are being confirmed about the punishing side effects of Obama's prescription for America's health care system.  As ranks of insured patients are expanding, the Wall Street Journal reports today that the U.S. faces a doctor shortage of 150,000 in 15 years:

Experts warn there won't be enough doctors to treat the millions of people newly insured under the law. At current graduation and training rates, the nation could face a shortage of as many as 150,000 doctors in the next 15 years, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

That shortfall is predicted despite a push by teaching hospitals and medical schools to boost the number of U.S. doctors, which now totals about 954,000.

The greatest demand will be for primary-care physicians. These general practitioners, internists, family physicians and pediatricians will have a larger role under the new law, coordinating care for each patient.

The U.S. has 352,908 primary-care doctors now, and the college association estimates that 45,000 more will be needed by 2020. But the number of medical-school students entering family medicine fell more than a quarter between 2002 and 2007.

A shortage of primary-care and other physicians could mean more-limited access to health care and longer wait times for patients.

Shortage of doctors? Check.  More-limited access to care?  Check.  Longer wait times?  Check.  Yup, I remember Obamacare opponents warning about each of these things during the health care debate, but were dismissed as crazy fear mongering racists. 

And just this week, when a couple of doctors confronted Rep. Barney Frank about their concerns during a Virgina Airlines flight, they were called "b*tchy."  Will liberal Democrats and the lamestream media ever start listening?