Predictable: Medicaid Expansion Could Cause Bigger Doc Shortage

As it is, there is already a dearth of doctors and medical facilities that accept Medicaid. Why?

(NY Times) Dr. Ted Mazer is one of the few ear, nose and throat specialists in this region who treat low-income people on Medicaid, so many of his patients travel long distances to see him.

But now, as California’s Medicaid program is preparing for a major expansion under President Obama’s health care law, Dr. Mazer says he cannot accept additional patients under the government insurance program for a simple reason: It does not pay enough.

And there it is. I know liberals like to think otherwise (except for those liberals who are in the medical profession), but medical professionals aren’t in business to lose money. They have huge costs to run their businesses, much less the student loans. They won’t stay in business if they lose lots and lots of money.

“It’s a bad situation that is likely to be made worse,” he said.

His view is shared by many doctors around the country. Medicaid for years has struggled with a shortage of doctors willing to accept its low reimbursement rates and red tape, forcing many patients to wait for care, particularly from specialists like Dr. Mazer.

Yet in just five weeks, millions of additional Americans will be covered by the program, many of them older people with an array of health problems. The Congressional Budget Office predicts that nine million people will gain coverage through Medicaid next year alone. In many of the 26 states expanding the program, the newly eligible have been flocking to sign up.

The primary “success” of Obamacare since the Exchanges went live is the huge number of people who have been put on Medicaid. They’re not getting traditional insurance as they apply, which is surely what most were attempting to sign up for. The number of docs who accept Medicaid is already low, and many will either refuse to accept any more Medicaid patients, or only accept a few. This means long, long waits to see medical professionals for Medicaid patients.

As for this being in the NY Times, now they tell us. But, who could have predicted that Obamacare would create long waiting lines and limited medical facilities? Oh, that’s right, everyone who cast a critical eye at the legislation.

Crossed at Right Wing News.

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10 Responses to “Predictable: Medicaid Expansion Could Cause Bigger Doc Shortage”

  1. Jeffery says:

    Medicaid expansion causes a job shortage! So, in a segment of the economy there are more high-paying jobs than applicants? And this is a problem because? Oh, because the medical profession keeps a tight rein on the number of doctors to keep salaries high.

    How ever can we solve that problem? Train more doctors? Allow more qualified physicians from other countries to practice here? Do you think highly-trained physicians would come to the US from India, China, Brazil and Europe to practice medicine? We’ve eagerly shipped middle class jobs overseas, why not import workers to compete with our highly compensated classes? Is that just a little too much free market?

    Are you really making the argument that giving more Americans access to affordable, quality healthcare is bad because it may put downward pressure on physician salaries? lmfao

  2. gitarcarver says:

    Are you really making the argument that giving more Americans access to affordable, quality healthcare is bad because it may put downward pressure on physician salaries?

    What downward pressure?

    The argument is that as more people are forced into Medicare and away from plans they liked and cost less, they are losing their doctors. As more people are forced into Medicare, there are not the doctors there to support the demand. So not only are patients losing their doctors, in many cases there are no doctors available to them in their area.

    This is not due to the free market as Medicare controls what doctors are paid. In other words, it is another failure of liberals like you who think they should control the market.

    As for your assertion that we do not let doctors in this country, that is patently false. You know it, but that has not stopped you from lying.

    Finally, there is this:

    lmfao

    Can you explain how you laughed yourself off?

  3. Jeffery says:

    gump,

    I’m sorry you don’t understand. I wish you did. Do you really wish to engage in a discussion about how many doctors enter the US each year from overseas compared to the need. Did you mean to imply that I said no doctors came here from overseas? Did you do this from ignorance or were you just lying once again?

  4. gitarcarver says:

    Jeffy,

    I am sorry that you have comprehension problems. In a previous discussion you said the US did not allow foreign doctors into the country. That is patently false.

    The US allows physicians into the country and they are allowed to practice medicine once they demonstrate medical competency.

    Are you against allowing people to be assure doctors meet a certain standard of care and level of training?

    Why are you against standards for physicians?

    In 2008, 29 percent of graduates educated overseas failed their clinical skills exams, compared to 3 percent of medical students who studied in the U.S.

    …..

    While the report says that disciplinary measures taken against foreign educated physicians are low across the country, foreign trained doctors in Florida were accused of malpractice more often. Floridian international medical school graduates make up 38 percent of the state’s doctors but accounted for 59 percent of their state’s medical license revocations.

    There are many professions where it can be argued that licensing is a barrier into the marketplace, but making sure doctors in the US meet certain standards benefits all.

    Of course, the opposite would be allowing anyone who calls themselves a “doctor” in the country and allowing them to practice medicine. Their “patients” (also known as their victims) would most likely be the poor. That means you are for substandard care for the poor.

    Once again, we see how despite their words, liberals like you really hate the poor.

  5. OverStuffed_Gumballs says:

    When will this lunacy end?

  6. OverStuffed_Gumballs says:

    The real tragedy in Driver’s story is that he died even though he had health insurance. He had Medicaid, yet even with this government-provided insurance, Driver’s mother could not find a doctor quickly enough to prevent the infection in his tooth from spreading to his brain.

    The problem with Medicaid, Roy says, is that it simply does not pay doctors enough for them to accept Medicaid patients. Medicaid pays on average 52 cents for every dollar that private insurance pays, due to payment caps instituted by the federal government. Some states pay far less: In New York, Medicaid pays 29 cents for every dollar that private insurance pays.

    Given the shortage of doctors in the United States, the results of this payment gap are not difficult to game out. “Now imagine you’re a primary-care doctor with a busy practice,” Roy writes. “Two people call asking for an appointment to see you today, and you have one slot open. Do you give that slot to the patient who has private insurance or to the one who has Medicaid?”

  7. Jeffery says:

    gumby1,

    Please point out where I said we do not allow foreign doctors in the US. You’re lying again.

    You can still have very strict licensing standards while having more doctors.

  8. gitarcarver says:

    Jeffy,

    You can still have very strict licensing standards while having more doctors.

    We have the standards now and yet you are whining that doctors are being kept out of the country.

    No one is keeping qualified doctors or doctors in general out of the country. That is your statement and yet you cannot support it.

    In other words, we once again see you have an issue with the truth.

  9. david7134 says:

    Jeff,
    Ok, now you are in my play ground. The fact is that there is no control of the number of doctors by the medical community, at least not in getting to medical school. Now, entering certain residencies is associated with limitation, but not those residencies that provide primary care. Now, foreign doctors are extremely plentiful in the US. The problem is that foreign doctors are poorly trained and do not have the same ethics as the doctors in the US. How do I know that, I train them and they admit the same.

    Now, Medicaid does not pay either the doctor or the hospitals so they are not readily accepted by most practices. It cost more to bill for Medicaid than what they reimburse. Also, Medicaid patients are more prone to sue as they think of a doctor as winning the lottery. Thus, they are a major pain in the butt. You likely have never met this segment or our population as most people in the US are extremely isolated from the core group.

    Now, increasing the number of doctors does not decrease the cost of medical care. Doctor salaries are a small portion of the overall medical bill. Plus, when you train for about 15 years and go through all the hoops, you want to be paid. Doctors will preform procedures or other means to achieve a certain salary range. The more doctors, the more procedures, the more salaries in the 6 figure range. Also, if you increase the number of doctors, the quality of care goes down as doctors have to do a certain number of procedures to maintain their skills. The easiest way to decrease the cost of medical care is to get the government out completely, reduce the number of doctors, and educate the people as to how to do things. Finally, allow people to buy all drugs across the counter, this is done in other countries.

  10. OverStuffed_Gumballs says:

    Comment by Jeffery

    2013-11-29 23:09:58
    gumby1,
    Please point out where I said we do not allow foreign doctors in the US. You’re lying again.

    You’re psychotic again. I was not talking to you. Besides, how does saying this topic is lunacy, or citing text from another article, mean that you are lying?
    You’ve got an Obama-level narcissism going on if you think every comment is about you.

    I’m tired of you.

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