Obamacare, doctors and America’s priorities

A recent article by Dr. Herbert Pardes, president and CEO of New York-Presbyterian Hospital caught my eye.  He makes a compelling case, but, perhaps not in the way he intended.

Obamacare purports to insure an additional 32 million people.  And, more and more Baby Boomers are reaching their 65th birthday.  This latter fact alone, according to estimates, will mean that 72 million people will need more medical care by 2020 than they do today… nearly twice the current figure.

According to a 2010 report by the Association of American Colleges, the increased demand means that our nation will need an additional 130,000 doctors, both general-practice physicians and specialists, 15 years from now.  That’s 20% more doctors than we have currently…Right now we train roughly 16,000 doctors a year.  To keep pace with demand, this nation will need an additional 6,000 to 8,000 each year for the next 20 years.

However, beginning in 1996, Congress capped the number of new doctors that Medicare would train.  And, the President’s Budget Commission recently recommended that Medicare funding to train doctors be reduced further…by $60 billion through 2020.

So, does it make more sense to throw billions at high speed rails to nowhere that no one will take once the novelty wears off, or to spend that money training doctors?

Does it make more sense throwing billions at ethanol production that we now know does virtually nothing for our environment, or to spend that money training doctors?

Does it make more sense paying people to buy electric cars that they would not otherwise buy, or to spend that money training doctors?

And, does it make more sense to throw billions at wind and solar power that will not be competitive in the foreseeable future, if ever, or to spend that money training doctors?

Is it possible that Americans are not so much upset about how much money our government spends, but rather, on what we spend it?

6 replies
  1. Susan
    Susan says:

    Email from Representative Courtney, the state and corporate dumping has already begun:

    Beyond eliminating the new consumer protections, repealing the law will have financial consequences for our state.  In a letter from the Offices of the Healthcare Advocate and the State Comptroller both agencies outlined financial consequences for Connecticut if the ACA is repealed.   The letter, which I have included for your review, stated that repealing the ACA will jeopardize $226 million in savings to Connecticut taxpayers.  For example, Connecticut applied for a received a waiver established by the ACA to move low-income adults in the State-Administered General Assistance (SAGA) program, which is financed entirely by Connecticut taxpayers, into Medicaid.  This waiver effectively split the cost of covering this low-income population between the federal and state government, saving Connecticut taxpayers $50 million per year. 

    Additionally, Connecticut has applied for and been accepted into the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program, which helps cover the costs of early retiree health costs for state employees. The program will reimburse the Connecticut retirement system, which is paid for with taxpayer funds and operated by the Comptroller's Office, for 80 percent of the costs of retiree health benefits in excess of $15,000 and below $90,000.  In addition to the state of Connecticut, over 120 private employers, including General Electric, Pitney Bowes, and United Technologies Corporation (UTC) have been accepted into the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program

  2. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    I wonder how much the aforementioned "savings" actually cost CT?  Reimbursements don't grow on trees, Mr. Courtney.  Come on up to MA and see the actual results of an Øbamacare microcosm.


    If you want more doctors, make med school free (or at least reasonable in cost) and really hard, with no hesitation about kicking out any student that doesn't perform at their best.  More docs, better docs, with no financial barrier (considerable now) to talented individuals becoming good docs.

  3. Tim-in-Alabama
    Tim-in-Alabama says:

    Obamacare's working great so far for my 88-year-old mother. The Feds changed the way they reimburse pharmacies so the locally owned pharmacy she's been using for years and that delivered to her door, has dropped her and other patients like her. Now we're just another customer number at a chain pharmacy. Thanks Barry Soetero.

  4. TomL
    TomL says:

    I guess Courtney hasn't figured out that weather the money comes from the state or the  federal government they are still reaching into our pockets to pay. Or maybe its coming from Obama's stash.

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