California has been at the forefront of ObamaCare implementation, but state lawmakers are facing a major obstacle: There aren’t enough doctors in the state to treat the expected influx of newly-insured patients.
A government council has recommended a physician-to-population ratio of 60 to 80 primary care doctors per 100,000 residents. Only 16 of California’s 58 counties reach this recommended supply of primary care physicians.
With ObamaCare, it’s only going to get worse.
The huge influx of newly-insured patients with ObamaCare is not the only reason for this lack of doctors. In a recent Physicians Foundation Survey, 13,575 doctors were asked how the passage of ObamaCare has affected their feelings about the future of healthcare in America. 59.3% of those surveyed said they were “less positive” about the future of American healthcare.
More than half of these physicians plan to cut back on patients, switch to cash only, or quit in the next three years. In fact, 60% of doctors surveyed said they would retire today if they could.
So, what’s California’s solution to this lack of doctors?
Redefine who can provide healthcare. Broaden the definition of “primary care provider” to include physician assistants, pharmacists, and even optometrists.