Side Effects: Get Ready to Wait for Your Health Care

Richard Sherwood /

Patience will be more than a virtue, under Obamacare.  It’ll be a necessity.  A recent article from ABC News outlines why Americans can expect longer and longer waits before they see a doctor.

One reason is that there just won’t be enough doctors to get the job done.  ABC reports that 10 years from now, the United States will short 85,000 primary care and high-demand specialty physicians.  Says Dr. Kevin Pho, an internal medicine physician in New Hampshire, “I don’t think we have the primary care capacity to meet the influx of 35 million newly insured.”

Expansion of health insurance coverage does not automatically translate into immediate access to care. When Massachusetts enacted its comprehensive statewide health reform in 2006, it dramatically reduced the number of uninsured and uncompensated care in Massachusetts hospitals, but the state was not ready to absorb the pent-up demand for primary care physicians. The result:  Since 2006, wait times have increased greatly. (more…)