Unless you embrace some serious measures to make sure you are taking care of your health, you may find yourself in a serious medical situation. As soon as Obamacare takes effect, this program, along with a number of other factors, may make it much harder to visit a doctor.
So, there’s only one person you can rely on to promote your good health – yourself.
For one thing, we are facing a looming, serious shortage of physicians. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), we are facing a dire predicament. You can expect a shortage of more than 90,000 doctors over the next 10 years.
The anticipated shortage derives from a handful of factors:
- The Census Bureau projects a 36 percent growth in the number of Americans over age 65; the population segment with the greatest healthcare needs.
- The Department of Health and Human Services estimates that the physician supply will increase by only 7 percent in the next 10 years.
- The passage of the Affordable Healthcare Act (Obamacare), intended to insure an additional 32 million Americans, plus 15 million patients who will become eligible for Medicare, will vastly increase the demand on physician services.
An Aging Population
As I point out in my new book, Navigating Obamacare, “In addition to a growing elderly population, people are living longer and experiencing age-sensitive conditions, like cancer, that require specialists and surgeons. The AAMC’s Center for Workforce Studies believes there will be 45,000 too few primary physicians and a shortage of 46,000 surgeons and specialists in this next decade.”
Part of the doctor deficit will no doubt be caused by early retirement of doctors not happy with the direction American healthcare is taking.
A survey by The Deloitte Center for Health Solutions surveyed more than 600 physicians and found that six in 10 (62 percent) said it was likely many of their colleagues will retire earlier than planned in the next one to three years.
It’s Likely Your Doctor May Refuse to Treat You
If you are on Medicaid or Medicare, or will be accepted into the Medicaid expansion, you may have a hard time seeing a doctor. Of more than 1 million physicians, therapists and counselors nationwide, only 43 percent currently accept Medicaid, according to a new study by HealthPocket, a technology firm that compares and ranks health plans.
As of May 2013, 26 States and the District of Columbia have opted to participate in the Obamacare Medicaid expansion and it’s estimated that 5 million to 8 million new patients will gain access to Medicaid coverage under the law.
find out what changes in our healthcare system has doctors concerned.
- Michael Cutler, M.D.