Less than a month old, Obamacare already is loaded into an ambulance on its way to the ER.
The first crisis for the health care overhaul plan is a shortage of doctors. “At current graduation and training rates, the nation could face a shortage of as many as 150,000 doctors in the next 15 years, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges,” the Wall Street Journal reported April 12. Most in demand will be primary-care physicians, who “have a larger role under the new law, coordinating care for each patient.”
Currently, of 954,000 doctors in the United States, 352,908 are primary-care physicians. The medical-school association estimates that another 45,000 primary-care physicians will be needed by 2020. Yet from 2002-07 the number of students studying for that role has declined by more than 25 percent.
“The doctor shortage is just going to get much worse,” said Gracie-Marie Turner, president of the Galen Institute, a free-market medical policy think tank in Alexandria, Va. “I keep hearing chilling descriptions from doctors of how they retired early because they’re scared to death of Obamacare. America isn’t willing to turn out enough primary-care physicians who are willing to work 80-hour weeks.”
She said, “Massachusetts already has seen patients who don’t have access to doctors” since it passed a precursor to Obamacare in 2006 under then-Gov. Mitt Romney, who ran for president on the GOP ticket in 2008. “Mittcare,” as it’s called, like Obamacare, mandated medical insurance for everyone, with those not signing up hit with a special fine/fee/tax.
Turner said another part of Obamacare already infecting the country is red tape. Every business, even small ones, must send a 1099 form to the IRS for any transaction of $600 or more. For a trip to Las Vegas for a medical convention, she said, “my hotel bill for four nights will come to more than $600. So the Galen Institute has to file the form.” The Obama law requires the reporting so companies don’t try to get out of paying the new medical levies.
That’s just one line in a 2,400-page bill. No wonder Obamacare requires 16,500 more IRS agents, some of whom might otherwise have gone to medical school.
Furthermore, Obamacare’s “taxes are going to cripple the economy,” Turner said. An April 14 report by the Heritage Foundation, “Obamacare: Impact on Taxpayers,” found: “These tax hikes will slow economic growth, reduce employment, and suppress wages. Further, in an act reminiscent of George H.W. Bush breaking his ‘no new taxes’ pledge in 1991, the tax hikes in (Obamacare) will raise taxes on middle-income families in direct violation of President Obama’s oft-stated pledge not to do so.”
The tax hikes total $503 billion from 2010-20.
Finally, although the economy may be recovering slightly now, national unemployment remains high at 9.7 percent. It’s hard to see how more bureaucracy and higher taxes will be anything but an economic heart attack.