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Will the new healthcare law cause a shortage of doctors?

Posted On Wed, April 21, 2010

There are currently around 32 million uninsured Americans that the healthcare law is expected to cover in the next few years, and experts fear there won't be enough primary care doctors to treat them all.

The Wall Street Journal reports that there could be a shortage of as many as 150,000 doctors during the next 15 years, mainly primary care physicians. It said the number of medical students studying family medicine fell more than 25 percent in five years and that 45,000 more primary care doctors will be needed by 2020.

Dr. George Holmes III, a family doctor, told the Tennessean that "the number of primary care doctors has stayed flat, but the American population has not. The patient suffers if we don't have enough people to give them care." According to the Tennessean, more medical students are choosing better-paid specialties that can offer three times the salary of a primary care physician.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the new healthcare law is offering incentives to encourage more people to become doctors, such as a 10 percent Medicare pay increase for primary care physicians.ADNFCR-2297-ID-19730826-ADNFCR

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