California facing doctor shortage amid Obamacare implementation

California, the state that first attempted to implement President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, has realized there aren’t enough doctors to care for the large influx of newly insured patients.

The Los Angeles Times reports that only 16 of the state’s 58 counties meet the federal government’s recommended standard of primary care physicians, and almost 30 percent of California’s doctors are close to the retirement age — the highest percentage nationwide.

“We’re going to be mandating that every single person in this state have insurance,” Democratic state Sen. Ed Hernandez told the Los Angeles Times. “What good is it if they are going to have a health insurance card, but no access to doctors?”

Hernandez has led an effort in the state legislature to expand the definition of who can provide health care services to patients. Lawmakers have proposed allowing physician assistants to treat more patients and permitting nurse practitioners to have independent practices.

Also, pharmacists and optometrists could become primary care providers and be allowed to treat some chronic illnesses.

“We don’t have enough providers,” said Beth Haney, president of the California Association for Nurse Practitioners, “… so we should increase access to the ones that we have.”

However, proposals to expand patient treatment options have been met with resistance from doctors, who say that such reforms could jeopardize patient safety and increase costs to patients.

“Patient safety should always trump access concerns,” Dr. Paul Phinney, president of the California Medical Association, told the Times.

This fight over who can treat patients to meet the growing demand for medical services is ongoing in other states, as well. The Times reports that in the past two years, approximately 350 laws redefining what health professionals may treat have been enacted across the country, and more than 50 proposals have been put forward in 24 states since the beginning of this year.

To alleviate the problem, the  Medical Association has suggested expanding participation in a loan repayment program for medical school graduates, which now gives doctors as much as $105,000 for working for three years in under-served communities.

“We’re not going to produce thousands of additional doctors in any kind of short-term time frame,” said Democratic state Assemblyman Roger Dickinson. “It makes sense to look at changes that could relieve the pressure that we’re going to undoubtedly encounter for access to care.”

Read more at Daily Caller News Foundation.

Comments

Comments

  1. Roger Mitchell says:

    LOL I guess some like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid and all of the modern day liberal hippies thought it was a great idea something for free,(But the lack of practicing Dr’s will soon be the least of the USA medical worries) we will become just like in Canada and Europe , Low cost socialized medicine. Or at least free birth control I’d myself suggest keeping your pants on . Thats better for all who work and pay taxes.. But they have not figured on how this socialized model will work .. 1st hand knowledge from a close and good friend who is a long haul trucker he was doing some hauling up in Canada a few yrs back , there was a huge road traffic accident somewhere up in N.W Canada he had some type of medical device on his load that had to be at some hospital for a emergency heart operation with in 12 hrs or so .
    They set in the 30 mile traffic back up for many many Hrs 4 huge wreckers on the scene he told me the Canada Medical authorities found out he was in the back up they contacted the Canada troopers what ever they are called ? They located his truck and tried to move heaven and earth to try and get him rolling to get that device to the needed patient for his by pass or what ever ? Seems the Hospitals up there have like one of anything and they just shuffle it around to other areas as needed .. Now who is going to pay for the law suits when people in this country start dieing for want of a heart machine ?
    Now remember the liberals wanted this share the wealth and socialized medicine (: as Nancy said you have to pass the bill to see what is in the bill ..My Buddy said he would as soon die then to go to a Canadian hospital he had to once for an injury emergency and they busted his American insurance Co big time .. .
    And another person I know his entire family moved here in the 70′s But his Parents stayed and they had to take his father across the border to Buffalo to get the needed cancer treatments even a MRI was a 6 week wait his mentally off sister could get little help there .. She now is a state care hospital , Seems they are given treatment for what they may be worth to society and paying super high taxes they said the younger working citizens get the better care sooner then old or people that can not be improved with treatments we’ll see ,

Polititainment

Maher to Cheney: light yourself on fire

As Hunter S. Thompson despised Richard Nixon with every drug-influenced fiber of his being, so Bill Maher carries on the torch for media provocateurs.

Colbert announces plan to defeat ISIS
President Barack Obama might not have a strategy for defeating ISIS in Syria, but never fear,  comedian Stephen Colbert has him covered. Colbert announced a unique plan Thursday night that involves raising Ronald Reagan from the grave, a captive radio audience and Monty Python-esque horse sound effects. “Remember in 1938 the radio broadcast of ‘War […]
Brand: ISIS better than conservatives
Actor Russell Brand took to Youtube Wednesday to compare terrorist group ISIS to conservatives, eventually coming to the conclusion that conservatives in power were worse than ISIS. Brand was recording yet another video aimed at attacking Fox News when he made the statements about ISIS. He was responding to Fox host Greg Gutfeld’s comments about Brand’s […]
Biden congratulates 'Veep' on Emmy win
From one Vice President to another… Vice President Joe Biden took to Twitter Tuesday to congratulate actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus on her Emmy win. Louis-Dreyfus snagged her third consecutive Outstanding Actress in a Comedy series win Monday for her portrayal of a fictional vice president on HBO’s “Veep.” Last year, the VP picked up the phone […]
Emmys snub political TV shows
Most of the 66th  annual Primetime Emmy Awards on Monday felt like a repeat of 2013′s awards show. “Modern Family,” “Breaking Bad” and “The Big Bang Theory’s” Jim Parsons all dominated the night, leaving most of the politically-themed and Washington D.C.-set shows out in the cold. Though “House of Cards”, “Scandal”, “Homeland”, “The Good Wife”, “The […]

White House

White House scrambles to control the fallout from Obama’s ‘We don’t have a strategy yet’ comment
It’s hard to imagine that there was any other reaction than full panic from White House staffers after President Obama uttered a fateful gaffe Thursday afternoon, “We don’t have a strategy yet.” The line quickly exploded on Twitter and on television — though not quite as much as the president’s tan suit — as it […]
GOP: ‘He’s not a king’
THE HILL – Whether lamenting the so-called vacationer-in-chief’s swing of a golf club or criticizing his handling of the healthcare rollout, Republicans are getting in the habit of comparing President Obama to a monarch. “It’s one thing after another. You know he says he has no choice but to act. He says he has a pen […]
Obama’s Democratic fundraising just might ruin Labor Day weekend for the rest of us

Barely having returned from a 15-day vacation on Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, Obama will spend is Labor Day weekend traveling to support his Democratic friends. The problem is, this means that Americans planning to take seaplanes to East Hampton, Montauk, Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket won't be able to travel themselves.

White House flirt Joe Biden turns on the charm for 108-year-old veteran Lucy Coffey

Joe Biden continues to brand himself the White House flirt. In a recently released video of Biden's July 25 meeting with Lucy Coffee, the vice president kisses the 108-year-old war veteran on the cheek and hand and tells her, "I'm the guy that loves you."

Congress

IRS says Lerner's Blackberry 'destroyed'

A senior IRS lawyer has said in a sworn declaration that Lois Lerner's BlackBerry was intentionally destroyed after Congress had begun to investigate her involvement in IRS targeting of conservative groups.

Youth impact reason enough to pass jobs bills
The U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means is in the midst of releasing 40 reasons over the course of 40 days that the Senate should take up the 40 jobs bills the House has already passed. While most of their reasons have focused on general unemployment and economic growth statistics, they turned their attention […]
UNEARTHED: Archival footage of Harry Reid smiling

From appearances, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid derives little pleasure from his job, perhaps a deputy to the paragon of joylessness. But Red Alert Politics has dug into the archives to demonstrate that it wasn't always like this.

Rubio: Obama action would kill immigration reform
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is urging President Barack Obama to forego taking executive action on immigration, warning that would kill any chance for comprehensive immigration reform. “If indeed you move forward on such a decision, I believe it will close the door to any chance of making progress on immigration reform for the foreseeable future,” […]
House GOP hires legal representation to sue Obama
THE HILL – House Republicans have hired D.C. law firm BakerHostetler to provide legal representation to sue President Obama. House Administration Committee Chairwoman Candice Miller (R-Mich.) signed a contract on Monday for BakerHostetler to represent the House in the civil action lawsuit in a U.S. district court against the president. “The president must be held accountable, and the […]