In a New York Times article December 5, featured because it was written by both a President Obama aide and a President Bush aide, the Times claims that increasing the demand for health care is not going to decrease the number of doctors (or doctor time, or doctor-like resources, or chairs in the waiting room). The authors trotted out the old and now very tired claim of the Obama administration that everything will be fine because it was fine in Massachusetts.
But as usual with the New York Times, the authors' claims about Massachusetts (in this case the Massachusetts Medical Society surveys on Patient Access to Care over the years) are totally inaccurate:
- Percent of family medicine doctors accepting new patients down from 70% to 50% since RomneyCare
- Percent of internists accepting new patients down from 66% to 45% since RomneyCare
- Percent of pediatricians accepting new patients down from 80% to 70% since 2010 (question not asked prior to RomneyCare)
And under the Soviet-era price controls passed in Massachusetts in August 2012 to replace RomneyCare, you need to see one of these doctors in order to see any one else. So it doesn't really matter that specialists accepting new patients are about the same... up and down... And wait times don't matter either if you don't have a doctor.