Eighty-three percent of American physicians have considered leaving their practices over President Barack Obama’s health care reform law, according to a survey released by the Doctor Patient Medical Association.
The DPMA, a non-partisan association of doctors and patients, surveyed a random selection of 699 doctors nationwide. The survey found that the majority have thought about bailing out of their careers over the legislation, which was upheld last month by the Supreme Court.
Even if doctors do not quit their jobs over the ruling, America will face a shortage of at least 90,000 doctors by 2020. The new health care law increases demand for physicians by expanding insurance coverage. This change will exacerbate the current shortage as more Americans live past 65.
By 2025 the shortage will balloon to over 130,000, Len Marquez, the director of government relations at the American Association of Medical Colleges, told The Daily Caller.
“One of our primary concerns is that you’ve got an aging physician workforce and you have these new beneficiaries – these newly insured people – coming through the system,” he said. “There will be strains and there will be physician shortages.”
The DPMA found that many doctors do not believe the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will lead to better access to medical care for the majority of Americans, co-founder of the DPMA Kathryn Serkes told TheDC.
“Doctors clearly understand what Washington does not – that a piece of paper that says you are ‘covered’ by insurance or ‘enrolled’ in Medicare or Medicaid does not translate to actual medical care when doctors can’t afford to see patients at the lowball payments, and patients have to jump through government and insurance company bureaucratic hoops,” she said.
The American Medical Association, which endorsed Obama’s health care overhaul, was not able to immediately offer comment on the survey. Spokesperson Heather Lasher Todd said it would take time to review the information in the survey.
Janelle Davis of the American Academy of Family Physicians said the AAFP could not provide thoughtful commentary without studying the survey’s findings and methodology.