Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Doc? Where are ya, doc?

The 32 million people who will become insured under the new health care reform act will place a major strain on the country’s health care system, including in the Tri-State, experts say.

“There are simply not enough primary-care providers available to take care of all these newly insured individuals,” said Dr. Peter Kambelos, an internal medicine physician who practices in Monfort Heights.

The legislation, much of which goes into effect in 2014, provides for more coverage by expanding Medicaid, penalizing employers who don’t offer coverage, requiring individuals to have coverage and providing subsidies for families buying their own insurance.

That from the Cincinnati Business Courier.

And you were expecting? Having subsidized health insurance isn't going to do one a whole hell of a lot of good when that person can't even get in to see a doctor.

As it is, the greater Cincinnati area is short 595 primary-care physicians, a number based upon an optimal per-capita number suggested by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The American Academy of Family Physicians is warning of an impending national shortage of 40,000 physicians by 2020.

The article goes on to explain how the current state of health care is continuing to exacerbate this "doc shortage" as today's medical students are choosing specialties, such as cardiology and dermatology. Procedures such as plastic surgery and laser eye surgery are proving to be more lucrative to med students as it's reimbursement rates, for the most part, lie outside government regulations and thus reflect more truly supply and demand market realities.

Boob jobs and eye surgery to better view said boob jobs.

And just how will states, particulary financial basket-case states like California be able to fund this expansion of Medicaid? It is somewhat rhetorical because no one has been able to provide a sensible explanation.

Exit thought: For legislation that absolutely had to get done, right now but which won't go into effect until 2014, we're chalking up another 110 people dying today because they did not have life insurance.

We'll see what we can do about getting a counter/ticker feature up and running.


CZ said...

I really like the idea of a counter/ticker...visuals, especially the moving kind, make stronger impressions!

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