published Monday, July 11th, 2011

A medical witch hunt

With ObamaCare’s harmful effects surfacing even before it is fully implemented, the Obama administration is embarking on a bit of a witch hunt to try to blame lack of access to medical care on our nation’s physicians.

The administration has hired researchers who will have phony “patients” call doctors’ offices in nine states — including nearly 500 offices in Tennessee. The callers will falsely tell the doctors’ offices that they have certain symptoms, and they will ask how long it will take them to get an appointment.

The purported goals of this “undercover operation” are to find out whether there is a doctor shortage and whether doctors are more likely to accept patients with private insurance than those on government health plans.

But it is already clear that there is a doctor shortage, and ObamaCare is going to make it worse by putting tens of millions more Americans on the federal government’s health care rolls. Some doctors understandably have already said they likely will retire early rather than try to deal with the bureaucratic headaches of ObamaCare.

Realizing that ObamaCare may harm medical access, the administration now apparently wants to claim that lack of access is the fault of doctors, rather than a result of vastly expanding government’s role in our health care system.

Sadly, one of the many problems with ObamaCare is that it does not have any realistic plan for increasing the number of doctors. But how will roughly the same number of doctors handle millions more patients who are going to be added to the rolls of government care?

That’s a question that should have been asked before Democrats in Congress passed ObamaCare. But at any rate, it is not appropriate to scapegoat doctors for the serious problems ObamaCare is creating.

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