The Association of American Medical Colleges projects a shortage of 63,000 physicians within the next few years. But rather than encourage doctors to continue practicing medicine, President Obama’s health law will do exactly the opposite.
While the bill was being debated, the American Medical Association advocated two big policy changes. First, it asked that Congress overhaul the arbitrary formula used to annually update Medicare’s reimbursement rates. The current formula invariably calls for massive cuts in payments. And Congress invariably overrides the cuts for fear that it would force thousands of physicians to stop accepting its enrollees, thereby making it difficult for seniors to access medical care.
The second change sought by the AMA: medical liability reform.