With or Without Obamacare, We Have a ProblemThe Association of American Medical Colleges estimates that in 2015 the country will have 62,900 fewer doctors than needed. And that number will more than double by 2025, as the expansion of insurance coverage and the aging of baby boomers drive up demand for care. Even without the health care law, the shortfall of doctors in 2025 would still exceed 100,000.
American Medical Association
California's ProposalCA Lawmakers are working on proposals that would enable physician assistants, nurse practitioners, optometrists and pharmacists to diagnose, treat and manage some illnesses. Pharmacists and optometrists could act as primary care providers, diagnosing and managing some chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and high-blood pressure.
Specialist vs General PractitionerOver 50,000 new primary care providers will be needed by 2025 yet only 7% of graduating medical students had chosen primary care as a career. Why? Primary care providers earn 30-60% less than specialists.
Nearly 57 million people in the United States, or one in five Americans, now live in areas that lack adequate access to primary care. As a consequence, millions of Americans use the emergency room for care that could have been provided by a primary care physician. Specifically, half of emergency room patients could have obtained care from a primary care physician if they had been able to obtain an appointment when care was needed. US Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging