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CA Lacks Docs To Meet Demand Of Obama-Care

From an unfazed Los Angeles Times:

State lacks doctors to meet demand of national healthcare law

Lawmakers are working on proposals that would enable physician assistants, nurse practitioners, optometrists and pharmacists to diagnose, treat and manage some illnesses.

By Michael J. Mishak | February 9, 2013

SACRAMENTO — As the state moves to expand healthcare coverage to millions of Californians under President Obama’s healthcare law, it faces a major obstacle: There aren’t enough doctors to treat a crush of newly insured patients.

Can’t Obama just create more doctors? Actually, that does sound like what the politicians are planning to do:

Some lawmakers want to fill the gap by redefining who can provide healthcare.

They are working on proposals that would allow physician assistants to treat more patients and nurse practitioners to set up independent practices. Pharmacists and optometrists could act as primary care providers, diagnosing and managing some chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and high-blood pressure…

What could possibly go wrong? By the way, coincidentally enough, the SEIU just happens to represent physician assistants and nurse practitioners and pharmacists and optometrists.

"We’re going to be mandating that every single person in this state have insurance," said state Sen. E d Hernandez (D-West Covina), chairman of the Senate Health Committee and leader of the effort to expand professional boundaries. "What good is it if they are going to have a health insurance card but no access to doctors?"

Hernandez’s proposed changes, which would dramatically shake up the medical establishment in California, have set off a turf war with physicians that could contribute to the success or failure of the federal Affordable Care Act in California.

Who cares, as long as they are all unionized by the SEIU?

Doctors say giving non-physicians more authority and autonomy could jeopardize patient safety. It could also drive up costs, because those workers, who have less medical education and training, tend to order more tests and prescribe more antibiotics, they said…

Nit pickers!

Currently, just 16 of California’s 58 counties have the federal government’s recommended supply of primary care physicians, with the Inland Empire and the San Joaquin Valley facing the worst shortages. In addition, nearly 30% of the state’s doctors are nearing retirement age, the highest percentage in the nation, according to the Assn. of American Medical Colleges…

"We don’t have enough providers," said Beth Haney, president of the California Assn. for Nurse Practitioners, "…so we should increase access to the ones that we have." …

Sure, what the heck. Who says nurses won’t spot a tumor? Who says a physician assistant doesn’t know how to diagnose the early stages of cancer?

Our healthcare is going to be better than ever. Just like Obama promised.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, February 11th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “CA Lacks Docs To Meet Demand Of Obama-Care”

  1. jhep3304 says:

    Sooo why does “CA Lack Docs…”? Surely the fact that 30% are nearing retirement is only a symptom and not THE cause. If this were not the case wouldn’t other States be facing a similar crises?

    I suspicion that many California physicians, faced with ever increasing, burdensome taxes combined with the loss of income predicted by the “Affordable Health Care…Act” have switched careers, took early retirement or exercised their right to move while that option still exists. For the same reasons, I suspicion that few new doctors are eager to move into that situation.

    Admittedly other States are looking at potential provider shortfalls but I don’t think any are facing as egregious a situation as Jerry Brown’s Lala Land.

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