The expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act may exacerbate the looming doctor shortage. The reason is simple: Medicaid does not pay enough. With many practitioners unable to accept new Medicaid patients, the Association of American Medical Colleges estimates that there may be a shortage of approximately 63,000 doctors. While shortage of doctors for Medicaid patients is nothing new, the expansion of the program only magnifies the problem. In California, the nation’s largest Medicaid provider, officials say that access to physicians will not be a problem, despite only 57% of practices accepting new Medicaid patients (which is the second-lowest percentage in the country, behind New Jersey). With a possible influx of 2 million new patients in the next two years, it is hard to imagine that access to physicians will remain stable.
Read the New York Times article here.