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Doctors Say Obamacare Will Undermine the Quality of Care

3:02 PM, Jan 31, 2011 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
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The 2011 National Physicians Survey, conducted by Thomson Reuters/HCPlexus and polling almost 3,000 American doctors, shows that while Obamacare would raise spending, premiums, overall U.S. health costs, and debt, it wouldn't raise the quality of American health care. Rather, by a margin of well over 3 to 1, doctors expect the quality of American health care to decline over the next five years, in the wake of Obamacare's passage: Only 18 percent of doctors expect the quality of health care to "improve," while a whopping 65 percent expect it to "deteriorate." 

Doctors Say Obamacare Will Undermine the Quality of Care

The poll's summary conveys that many doctors offered "critiques of the reform act – some articulating the strong feelings they have regarding the negative effects they expect from the PPACA [ObamaCare]." David Shrier, chief executive officer of HCPlexus, says, "The National Physicians Survey tells us that physicians have not been enlisted in the healthcare reform process."  Shrier adds, "The message they've taken from healthcare reform appears to be 'Do more with less.'" 

Indeed, by a margin of nearly 10 to 1, doctors said that "the impact of the Health Care reform Act of 2010" on doctors would be "negative" (78 percent), rather than "positive" (8 percent). With a doctor shortage already looming, this hardly bodes well for trying to recruit talented young men and women to join the medical profession—at least as doctors. The poll shows, "With regard to who will be handling what may be an increased patient population [under Obamacare], respondents indicated that Nurse Practitioners will see as many patients as Primary Care Physicians."  

It's becoming increasingly hard to see why anyone other than the two people who would most benefit from Obamacare's survival – President Obama (as it was his top legislative priority) and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (who, though unelected, would stand to become arguably the 2nd-most-powerful person in the United States) – could continue to think that this overhaul sounds like a good idea. Certainly the vast majority of Americans don’t think it is.

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