December 9, 2021

Renowned physician warns Obamacare could lead to shortage of doctors

WASHINGTON —  Major portions of the Affordable Care Act will go into effect on October 1st.

One of the outspoken critics of reform, who is also a doctor, says seeing a doctor in the future may be tougher for us all. Dr. Ben Carson, the renowned pediatric neurosurgeon who recently retired from Johns Hopkins, has been an outspoken critic of the Affordable Care Act from the beginning. What’s the impact now on doctors?

DrCarson_1548“It means a new horror every month, basically, as we find out more and more things that are required of us,” Dr. Carson said..

What Dr. Carson is referring to are requirements that include more documentation in order for doctors to get paid and loopholes that could leave doctors holding the bag. For example, if patients in state health insurance exchanges fail to pay their premiums, the patient gets a three-month grace period. But insurers are only responsible for paying one month’s worth of bills.

“Those are going to be the things that make medicine considerably less desirable,” explained Dr. Carson. “Unless it’s addressed, you’re going to have a lot of people getting out of the profession.”

In fact, recent numbers show more than 9,000 opted out of Medicare participation in 2012, that number has tripled since 2009. Many factors are contributing to a projected shortage of doctors and the emergence of concierge practices, where doctors take on a smaller number of patients who pay out of pocket thousands of dollars a year.

People who can afford it are going to pay a concierge doctor. Those who can’t are going to be left in another system.

“And the ones who are in the other system,” Dr. Carson said. “Even though they’re good doctors, they’re so overwhelmed, that they’re not going to be able to pay the kind of attention, and you’re going to have progressively longer waits.”

But Dr. Carson sees hope — that the reform will fail. When asked if he thinks the Affordable Care Act will collapse, he replied, “Oh absolutely. There’s no way it’s sustainable.”