The Next Obamacare Debacle: A Massive Doctor Shortage

Tyler Durden's picture

While the Obamacare website rollout may be a huge slap in the face of government (in)efficiency and (dis)organization ( has now joined the ranks of all other New Normal "full-time" workers by working part-time following a daily maintenance shutdown from 1 am to 5 am), the reality is that sooner (unlikely) or much later it will be fixed. And while the realization that the Unaffordable Care Act is just that, and will soak up far more cash from the majority of the population will be a slap in the face of all who never understood that socialist Ponzi schemes always cost far more in the bitter end, it is nothing that America's favorite pastime can't resolve - paying on credit. Which means that the biggest threat to Americans as a result of Obamacare is neither the website, nor really who foots the bill (ask future generations), but the actual impact on services, and as CBS reports the next shock to brace for is the sudden drop off in healthcare providers as an imminent "explosion of demand for doctors and services" mean a looming doctor shortage is just around the corner.

From CBS:

At Current Rate, As Many As 52,000 Primary Care Physicians Needed By 2025. Even doctors who support Obamacare say there could be delays due to more patients and fewer doctors, CBS 2’s Dick Brennan reported Monday.


“It’s like shopping during Christmas time. I mean, you’re going to have a tough time if you have all of these people demanding services at the same time,” said Dr. Steven Lamm of the NYU School of Medicine.


Lamm said the Affordable Care Act could mean an explosion of demand for doctors and services, but will the system be able to handle it?


"I think the concern would be that the system will be overwhelmed, that there will be a greater demand that we can meet in a quality fashion and that we will have to delay services for a lot of individuals,” Lamm said.

Wait, did someone just ask if the "system" would be able to handle an unforeseen consequence? The same system that couldn't even maintain the most foreseen event such as website traffic on the main Obamacare portal into day one? Yes, they did!

In the meantime, doctors are preparing to just say to hell with it all.

Right now, there is already a shortage of 20,000 doctors nationwide, and with healthcare expansion, plus increasing population, there will be a need for about 52,000 primary care doctors by 2025.


This while only 20 percent of new doctors become primary care physicians and the new landscape has older doctors bailing, Brennan reported.


“Doctors are planning to retire. Anybody who is anywhere near retirement age is talking about retirement. … There’s just too much going on,” said Dr. Sam Unterricht of the New York State Medical Society.


Others fear that centralizing medical care will squeeze out small independent doctor groups, groups that insurers claim are more expensive, in favor of large centralized care.


“It will be inferior care. They will end up going to clinics, to situations where they don’t have their own private physician. When they go to hospitals they are not going to know any of doctors who are taking care of them,” cardiologist Dr. David Hess said.


Just by sheer numbers, doctor retirements will increase. Nearly half right now are over the age of 50, and the American Medical Association says nurses will also be in short supply, Brennan reported.

The makeshift solution: promote unqualified doctors

Doctors say one solution could be a quick infusion of residents. “They are not training enough residents. The number of medical students has increased a little bit, but the number of residency spots has not. They’ve kept the number of residency spots frozen for, I think, 13 years now,” Unterricht said.

In short: less qualified doctors, as those who know what they are doing, and know what is coming choose simply to retire, offset by a surge in veritable Dr. Nicks.

 Yet another unqualified success for central-planning.

The above in video format:

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orangedrinkandchips's picture

fuck insurance all together.



Upswaller's picture

Walmart Medical School to the rescue!

Steve in Greensboro's picture

There is no problem so bad that intervention by the U.S. Federal government cannot make it worse.

g'kar's picture

india, Pakistan and the Phillipines to the rescue.

TruthInSunshine's picture

While Americans will wait increasingly longer to see a doctor under the ZerOcare Regime, they will probably start incorporating "minute clinics" @ The Dollar Store:

'Squeezed Middle Class Looks To Dollar Stores'


Consumers are feeling pinched and are on the hunt for the best bargains. For many, that now means shopping at dollar stores.


The decline of the middle class and its impact on retailers was a hot topic at the Stocktoberfest conference last month hosted by social investing site StockTwits. Bentz and Joseph Brusuelas, a senior economist with Bloomberg Briefs, both spoke about the trend.

Brusuelas said that many people looking for work are being forced to take jobs in lower wage industries like retail, leisure and hospitality, health care and social assistance. There also has been a rise in companies offering just part-time positions.

That shift could be one reason why sales at Wal-Mart (WMT, Fortune 500) stores open more than a year declined 0.3% during second quarter.

Because Obama.

TeamDepends's picture

If you like your country, you can keep your country.

Truthseeker2's picture


1 – O B A – A M A – C A R E


First they get your body; then they take your mind; then they grab your soul.


MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

Angry ZHers need to accept that progressives have won this one. Finally America is putting affordable healthcare ahead of the profits of insurance companies. America voted for Obama for a second term, and most Americans want the affordable healthcare act. This is a fact, and if ZHers belive in democracy, they need to support this bill.

Hippocratic Oaf's picture

Mr............Mr. Blutarsky: zero point zero.


We knew this shit a while back. Docs will just decide to walk away.

I asked mine 2 visits ago what he planeed to do. He said "fuck it, I'm 67 and better time"

Ying-Yang's picture

Allow nurses and PAs to see patients, allow people to buy drugs like in Mexico.

Make hospitals, doctors, labs and pharmacies post cash and carry prices.

Meat Hammer's picture

Make?  Did you mean "allow"?

Freedom, bitchez.

onewayticket2's picture

affordable?  my premiums are skyrocketing next year....and AETNA will no longer honor any prescriptions my doctor writes (effectively cancelling my doctor of 20 yrs).

what planet are you on?

Dick Buttkiss's picture

Good one, MDB, and an up-vote accordingly. But your tongue's gonna pop right through your cheek if you're not careful.

Upswaller's picture

No worries. Dr. Bottomclass will stitch that sucker up with Stren in no time.

NoDebt's picture

Majority of Americans do NOT want Obamacare and that number has NEVER been positive.

C'mon, you're so much better when you don't lie.  Your humor works better if you remain factually correct but apply your own twisted logic to it.  Seriously, you're better than this.  Poor form.

Meat Hammer's picture

Yep.  Normally I give MDB a greenie but I had to junk him this time for lack of effort.  

What was that, a cut-and-paste from  You're better than that!!!

g'kar's picture

I gave him a + because he had to have been sarcastic.

More_sellers_than_buyers's picture

first off , the majority of Americans do not support it.  And Secondly, I believe in a constitutional republic, not democracy. Morons like you put us in this mess.

Pesky Labrador's picture

America didn't put Ocare in front of profits, this whole thing reeks of corparate insurance cutting out all the little companies. Obama stole the election (thank you Die Bold) he didn't win shit. They've rigged the game and its been them versus us for decades now. This Ocare mess isn't going down as smoothly as they had hoped and it just might be the final straw that breaks the union.


MR166's picture

Ocare will will reduce our medical care to that of England or Canada.  If you have a cold or something that does not require a specialist you will get adequate care.  If you need special care you will wait years if you live that long.  For instance, if you have early stage breast cancer in England there is no treatment until it progresses.  How would you like to live knowing that you have cancer and cannot get treatment????   The US will wind up with 2 medical systems, one for the rich and one for the poor just like England.

Stuck on Zero's picture

Government Pays $400M to Reduce the Number of Physicians:

Isn't it nice to see how well central control by the corrupt works?



Parrotile's picture

Evidence, from a REPUTABLE source please.

Ah yes, right, there isn't any, is there. There are PLENTY of effective early phase treatments, all widely used in the UK NHS (e.g. Tamoxifen, Herceptin [for the poorer-prognosis HER +ve tumours]). Surgically, lumpectomies are more popular than radical mastectomies (less disfiguring, shorter Theatre times, reduced intra- and post-opreative complication risk), with a broadly comparable recurrence risk to the older radical surgeries. In all cases, the Patients are presented with the necessary, and complete, information to make a fully informed decision.

Anecdotally, the "Private" sector prefers the "quick Day Surgery" lumpectomy with adjuvant radiotherapy approach (with or wihout axillary lymph node clearance, depending on the degree of localisation and cytology). Anecdotally (again), the recurrence rate (5 year and 10- year) in the Private sector is not quite as good as the NHS (Public) sector, but the difference is certanly not statistically significant.

InflammatoryResponse's picture



you have no idea what you're excited about.  you need to talk to the people that LIVE under socialized medicine.  Not your friend of a friend who wen to Germany an had a broken toe and didn't have to pay a thing.  You need to talk the people I know that in Germany they are assigned to a neurologist on the 3rd floor of a building with stairs only.  the problem? the patient is in a WHEEL CHAIR.  my friend had to carry her UP the stairs and down.


I only hope that you get to suffer the consequences of your foolish support for this bill.  A loved one dying because of this stupid law, that is going to ruin the best healthcare ability in the world.


now before you say  OMG you goof we spend more money on healthcare than anybody else.  I would submit that if you LOOK at where we spend the vast chunk of money it is on PREVENTABLE CHRONIC disease,  heart disease, diabetes, etc.   all LIFESTYLE problems,  


so neener neener.



and ADVIL won't make me go away either.


Ljoot's picture

Your pimp hand is weak today MDB.

DaveA's picture

MDB is right, polls show that the majority of Americans want their health care paid for by someone else.

Someone Else was unavailable for comment.

NoDebt's picture

I want to be a school nurse.  3 months off a year, $85K/year for doing nothing, nice pension, nice benefits.  Not allowed to give ANY nursing aid to anyone under any circumstances, no aspirin, not even a band-aid.  If something serious comes up they just call 911 like any other schmo.  I mean, what do they do with their day?  

I'll take that gig.

MilleniumJane's picture

I hate to burst your bubble, but most schools do not have nurses anymore.  In our state, the health department comes in to give the eye and hearing exams, head lice checks, etc.  They've also been asking the students rather intrusive (in my opinion) "lifestyle" questions.

tbone654's picture

We have a nurse... she takes the kids that skin their knees on the playground, gives them some attention, then either sends them back to their classes, or calls their parents to come and get them...  Not just anyone can do that...

And while they are waiting for mom or dad to come and get them they ARE asked about what mom and dad are making them for breakfast these days, and "does your father or mother spank you while they bully you around?"

tbone654's picture

And that nurse WILL be promoted to full fledged U.S. Doctor one day...

Meat Hammer's picture

We're already teaching our 5-year-old to respond with "I respectfully decline to answer your questions."

If the question has nothing to do with the basic subject matter, he knows he is not to answer them.  We'll see how it goes.

Greenskeeper_Carl's picture

+1 good idea. mine isnt old enough to talk yet, but i think we will do the same thing. sad that this is neccessary but i do believe it is. and it will only be worse by the time mine starts school. might have to start looking into that RP homeschool course

Jena's picture

I know a school nurse.  She's responsible for the planning of care for six schools in one district.  In those six schools are kids that wouldn't have been mainstreamed a dozen years ago because of cerebral palsy, a variety of degrees of autism spectrum disorder, cystic fibrosis with serious lung and digestive problems that require attention on a daily basis and others but you get my drift.  All those kids with serious enough problems have aids with them (this is California, after all) but she is ultimately responsible for what those aids do and do not do for the sick kids while they are on school property.

It is a nightmare job because if anything untoward happens to one of those kids, she is ultimately responsible.  It is her license on the line because she is the only one with a license to bear the responsibility.  She says this is her last year.  We'll see.  She said the same thing last year but the load seems to get bigger every year.

It is a long way from being the person who tends to skinned knees and ask probing questions.

This is similar to what Obamacare will serve up:

Low level care in the form of techs (unlicensed personnel providing care) under the eyes of nurses,  There will be nurse practitioners and physician assistants overseeing them and one single doctor who signs off on everything.  If anything goes wrong, s/he will bear the brunt in the form of license revocation and lawsuit.  No one will be actually seen or touched by a doctor, probably not even in surgery.  There will be techs there, too.

The one way to keep a doc is to go with a concierge practice.  And even that will be iffy.  Right now private practice docs are selling their practices to hospital chains as fast as they can.

Parrotile's picture

The "lifespan" of technicans in Surgery may be limited anyhow - there is a lot of interest (and major investment) in fully robotic surgery.

Right now using "robotic assist" is as safe as relying on surgical assistants and the advantages are significant, especially in terms of reduced infection risk. The disadvantages are that unlike a "human" surgeon, the "machines" have a much poorer ability to react to an unexpected situation (e.g. vessel rupture), in a timely fashion. They CAN fix it, but their "thought processes" are more pedantic, vs. the experienced Surgeon's almost instantaneous "problem recognition, skill-set already up and running, fix" response.

There is a LOT of activity in the development and fine tuning of robotic surgical algorithms - this search string generates almost 8 million hits via Google. Robotic surgery is important now, and will gain importance in the future. It probably will not replace the art of the skilled human Surgeon, but will enable a better standard of service (with improved safety) for many, especially if combined with telesurgical developments.

LOTS of interest in Australia, with the real option of offering World-class surgical procedures to Patients in remote areas, without the need for transport of significantly ill individuals.

Upswaller's picture

If you like your children, you can keep your children.




Chaos_Theory's picture

Just not the inferior ones or the few Bad Apples.

kchrisc's picture

Except the ones that have "changed' in the ensuing months. Those we'll need for cannon fodder.

HelluvaEngineer's picture

Lucky for all of us, our dear leader is about to grant amnesty to millions of Dr. Nick Rivieras.  Hi everybody!

TruthInSunshine's picture

"Dr. Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho will see you now."

CheapBastard's picture

With the Open Door Immigration Policy the medical field will look similat to the IT sector.



Chaos_Theory's picture

That doctor in Idiocracy is our future.  "Riggghhhht. Kick ass."

TruthInSunshine's picture

That's Doctor Lexus to you, 'scrote.

"Well, don't want to sound like a dick or nothin', but, ah... it says on your chart that you're fucked up. Ah, you talk like a fag, and your shit's all retarded. What I'd do, is just like... like... you know, like, you know what I mean, like...

...don't worry, scrote. There are plenty of 'tards out there living really kick-ass lives. My first wife was 'tarded. She's a pilot now."


Frito: Yah I know this place pretty good, I went to law school here.

Pvt. Joe Bowers: In Costco?

Frito: Yah I couldn't believe it myself, luckily my dad was an alumnus and pulled some strings.

remain calm's picture

OK, I am a doctor. I am a subspecialist. 5 years college(pharmacy), 4 years medical school, 5 years residency. I always got excellent grades, valedvictorian of college, top 10% medical school, honored at prestigeous residency as best resident. I make a good living, I earned it.

Let me tell you what the American people are going to get and they are going to get exactly what they deserve(voted for). Inferior care going forward. The government is going to legislate to expand the scope of Nurse Practioners, Physician Assistants, and other non MD ancillary providers and give them greater decision making, ie, make them pseudo doctors.

Do you think a RN or PA who was an everage student, limited training 1-2 years post college, can provide you with the same level of care as someone who worked hard and spent thousands of hours up after midnight? Can make the critical and difficult life saving decisions based on knowlege and ?

The American people in the next 10-15 years are about to get fucked by Obamacare and they won't even know it until it's too late. Good luck.

Upswaller's picture

Sadly, the severity of information disconnect is so great, the sheeple won't be able to relate the state of healthcare to what created the situation in the first place.

CH1's picture

Don't worry. I'll remind them.

skipjack's picture

The only upside to that is that the numbnuts who take their kids with any sniffle or bitty sore throat to the doctor for antibiotics might be downgraded to a PA, who is fully capable of telling said idiotic parent to gve their kids fluids and keep them away from their peers for a day or two. Sheesh - far too many people are over-doctored as it is.