By Tom Quiner
Newt Gingrich said it first: we’re going to need a ton of new doctors to accommodate the demands of Obamacare.
Quiner’s Diner is spending time on Obamacare this week because it is a reality. Last week’s election results suggest it will be around for awhile.
The reality, or perhaps unreality would be a better word, of Obamacare is setting in. For example, we’re not going to have enough doctors to do all the things the law demands.
A key point of Obamacare was to get more people health insurance. Some 42 million were uninsured depending on who you listened to. Obamacare won’t get them all insurance, but more will be insured.
That means we’re going to need more doctors.
But Obamacare doesn’t create more doctors.
It gets worse. It requires a long list of “free” preventative screenings in health insurance plans. To name a few …
- “FREE” annual well woman visit,
- “FREE” birth control, including oral contraception and IUDs,
- “FREE” HIV screening and counseling,
- “FREE” sexually transmitted infection counseling,
- “FREE” screening for gestational diabetes,
- “FREE” breastfeeding consultation and supplies, including breast pumps, and
- “FREE” screening and counseling for domestic violence.
This is but a small list of the “FREE” preventative screenings mandated by Obamacare.
Sounds good, doesn’t it? Of course, there’s no free lunch. But that’s not the point. The point is this: there aren’t enough hours in the day for doctors to do all of this preventative work AND take care of people already sick.
Economists at Duke University studied the ramifications of these Obamacare mandates. By their calculations, the average primary care doc would have to spend 7.5 hours each and every day simply providing these mandated wellness screenings for patients who are primarily healthy!
So much for taking care of sick people.
By all accounts, more and more doctors want to get out of the business due to Obamacare, so the numbers may actually end up being worse.
Who will get hurt the most by the mock benevolence of this aspect of Obamacare? The poor; the elderly; all those on government policies that pay below market value.
Doctors have to be practical. If they have decreasing hours to take care of sick folks, they have to set aside their limited hours in a day to care for their best-paying patients to keep their practice afloat, or face catastrophic loss of revenues .
The most vulnerable will be most harmed by the supposed benefit of mandated preventative screening unless we see a dramatic infusion of more doctors into the system.
That is not happening.