More than a year after alarm bells sounded across the nation, a Sunday New York Times article reports that, “Alarmed by a shortage of primary care doctors, Obama administration officials are recruiting a team of ‘mystery shoppers’ to pose as patients, call doctors’ offices and request appointments to see how difficult it is for people to get care when they need it.” This secret shopper program will cost taxpayers nearly $350,000.
The Administration is finally showing concern that their $1 trillion health care law will result in long wait times to see a physician. However, this is not new news. Democrats have long known their health care overhaul would result in long wait lines because of the limited number of physicians who would be able or willing to treat 16 million new Medicaid patients and 16 million others who would receive other taxpayer-subsidized health care. Numerous surveys and reports – including findings from Medicare officials – sounded the alarm more than a year ago:
- Five months before the Democrats’ health care overhaul was signed into law, Medicare officials warned that, “Consideration should be given to the potential consequences of a significant increase in demand for health care meeting a relatively fixed supply of health care providers and services. …In practice, supply constraints might interfere with providing the services desired by the additional 34 million insured persons”;
- After it became law, Medicare officials repeated the same concern, “…we believe that consideration should be given to the potential consequences of a significant increase in the demand for health care meeting a relatively fixed supply of health care providers and services”; and
- Last summer, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) released a study which found that the U.S. will need to add 91,500 new physicians in the next 10 years in order to keep up with the demands of the Democrats’ health care law.
There’s no mystery here. Spending $350,000 in taxpayer money to document a problem that everyone knows exists is not a solution. Instead of shoring up the current health care system, the Democrats over-reached by establishing a new entitlement that our country cannot afford. The real mystery is this: will the Administration ever admit that the Democrats’ health care overhaul is failing America’s health care system?