The America’s Medical Society mentions that some questioning should happen at the debates:
Mr. President, please explain how you plan to maintain the same level of medical acuity and acumen, when, within a mere two years, there will be tens of millions of additional patients added to waiting rooms nationally?
The President should have a prepared answer to this key concern of healthcare providers and patients. It’s inconceivable that any question could be more primary to the intrinsic workings of our health systems in the United States. With all other concerns aside, nothing really matters if there are not properly trained physicians available to evaluate and treat the added influx of thirty million new patients.
Let’s assume that the polls are wrong, and that anywhere from thirty to sixty-five percent of practicing doctors will not, indeed, cut back their hours or retire early in the next decade. Let’s answer this question then, honestly, for the President in a stand-alone textbook-style essay response. There is really only one–albeit vague and evasive–answer that the President can give:
“…We will rely on ancillary healthcare personnel [non-physicians: nurses, technicians, physician’s assistants] to step up and do more of the supporting work now done by doctors.”
This is the answer that Mr. Obama’s handlers have likely prepared for him. There is only one problem, however, with this answer: it is disingenuous and factually incomplete.
First of all, the President’s men know very well that the decades-old slow decline in inflation-adjusted income of physicians has already squeezed every ounce of efficiency out of non-physician helpers in the workforce. There is no way these ‘non-M.D.s’ can be asked to simply ‘give more’ without sacrificing quality.
What will really happen in Obama’s new world medical order is that non-physicians will be charged with higher levels of functioning in patient care—assessment, treatment, and even prescription-writing, as more nurse practitioners and (state law depending) others are required to practice medicine without the benefit of a medical training and degree. Essentially, some will be given the equivalent of a medical degree through legislative and executive fiat. In other words, time-honored requirements and benchmarks for medical training will be lowered.
Obama-Care, however, is already crumbling and has two more times to visit the Supreme Court (HHS and the “Exchanges” between states). Here is one state that took the law into their own hands, as Walter William would say, Constitutionally:
Missouri voters dealt Obamacare a significant setback yesterday, approving a statewide ballot measure with an overwhelming 71 percent of the vote.
The vote was the first time citizens had an opportunity to cast a ballot on the unpopular health care law. Missouri’s measure prohibits the federal government’s enforcement of the individual mandate to buy health insurance. The victory sends a strong message about Obamacare in a bellwether state.
A recent survey from the the third largest health care staffing company in the United States shows that most doctors are for either “repeal and replace” or “implement and improve.” These feelings work out towards the candidates in the following way:
If the election were held today, 55 percent of physicians reported they would vote for Romney while just 36 percent support Obama, according to a survey released by Jackson & Coker, a division of Jackson Healthcare, the third largest health care staffing company in the United States
Fifteen percent of respondents said they were switching their vote from Obama in 2008 to Romney in 2012. The top reasons cited for this change was the Affordable Care Act and the failure to address tort reform.
Leadership style, failure to follow through on campaign promises, unemployment and the general state of the economy were also factors.
“Doctors are highly motivated this year to have their voice heard, particularly after passage of the Affordable Care Act,” said Sandy Garrett, president of Jackson & Coker. “No doubt, the health care law has stirred many passions in the medical community.”
Fifty-five percent of physicians said that they favored “repeal and replace” Obamacare, while 40 percent said “implement and improve”.
A Gallup poll from July found that 46 percent of Americans feel Obamacare is more harmful than helpful to the economy; 36 percent responded the opposite.