• No doctors for you!

    One of the great fears of passing health care reform was that increasing the number of patients in the system would tax already strained resources, resulting in increasing wait times. There’s something to this. After all, wait times already exist in the US, and increasing access for more than 30 million people while keeping the number of physicians static would have to result in some changes.

    This isn’t rocket science, and those passing the PPACA recognized the problem. Therefore, they placed within the legislation a solution:

    So Page 519 of the sprawling 2010 law to overhaul the health-care system creates an influential commission to guide the country in matching the supply of health-care workers with the need. But in the eight months since its members were named, the commission has been unable to start any work

    The group cannot convene, converse or hire staff because $3 million that it needs for its initial year has been blocked by two partisan wars on Capitol Hill — strife over the federal budget and Republicans’ disdain for the health-care changes that Democrats muscled into law 14 months ago…

    The panel’s only activity so far, Mullan said, was a single conference call during which members were told they could not lobby members of Congress for funds or accept money to operate from foundations or anywhere else.

    The National Health Care Workforce Commission is intended as an ongoing brain trust to focus new energy on solving an old problem that will become increasingly severe. The law says the new commission will analyze primary-care shortages and propose innovations for the government — and medical schools — to help produce the doctors and other health workers the nation needs. The idea is to furnish expertise to counterbalance the intense lobbying of medical groups.

    Look, I get that many people oppose the PPACA. But this type of work is necessary even if you absolutely, positively hate the law. We have doctor shortages, especially in primary care, and we have wait times. Refusing to work on this issue does no one any good.

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    • Isn’t it clear yet that most Republicans have no interest whatsoever in improving the health care system (or for that matter the health of the electorate) bur rather are only intested in scoring politial points in an attempt to secure their future employement (and direct the country towards the benefit of their chosen lobbyists?)

    • Ken isn’t it a fact that the Democrats only goal was getting everyone insured with no care whatsoever about “bending the cost curve down”?

      The Dems have created a fiscal and regulatory monstrosity that the Medicare Actuary has scored and says will increase health care costs by over $300 Billion dollars.

      Isn’t it clear that they were only interested in POLITICS when they passed this piece of legislation that was oppposed (and still is) opposed by the Majority of Americans?

    • @Ken-I think it would be fair to say that Republicans have not been willing to spend political capital on reforming health care.

      Steve

    • I think it’s fair to say that Democrats feel that covering 34 million more people a year is worth 30 billion a year, or 300 billion over 10 years. Republicans, on the other hand, if you look at the Ryan plan,are willing to increase the number of uninsured by as many as, WORST CASE SCENARIO, 44 million people a year to balance the budget without raising taxes on the wealthy.

    • People who are only interested in politics always vote for popular legislation and against unpopular legislation.

    • @George: I have a number of problems with your response.

      First, let me say that I do not support the Republican efforts at deficit and debt reduction unless they address the revenue side of the equation.

      But, your reflexive, ideological “tax the rich” solution is just Democratic class warfare fantasy, Politically it is powerful, but it does little to solve our problems.

      First of all, I hear the President screaming about “tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires”. Last time I looked, someone making 250K is neither a millionaire or a billionaire.

      But, the class warfare argument aside, the Presidents proposal would only raise $700 billion in revenue. This is a mere drop in the bucket in terms of addressing our debt/deficit problems.

      On the other hand, repeal of the Bush tax cuts for EVERYONE would accomplish two goals. First, if we are going to address this problem seriously, we need shared sacrifice on behalf of all Americans. Second, a repeal of the bush tax cuts would raise $3.7 Trillion in revenue as opposed to $700 Billion if you just raise rates on the so called “rich”.

      But more importantly, your support (and the left’s) support of the PPACA is reckless and irresponsible. The goal of universal coverage is a laudable one that I support. But, if it is going to exacerbate our serious debt/defict problem, then your support of it, regardless of the end result of insuring more Americans is reckless.

      In his speech to congress on health care, President Obama said the following:

      “Finally, our health care system is placing an unsustainable burden on taxpayers. When health care costs grow at the rate they have, it puts greater pressure on programs like Medicare and Medicaid. If we do nothing to slow these skyrocketing costs, we will eventually be spending more on Medicare and Medicaid than every other government program combined. Put simply, our health care problem is our deficit problem. Nothing else even comes close.”

      So in essence, the status quo of rising health care costs are our deficit problem, and according to the President, NOTHING ELSE EVEN COMES CLOSE!

      This is why you kept hearing the president talk about “bending the cost curve of health care down”. He claimed (backed up by the CBO) that the PPACA would in FACT bend the cost curve down.

      Of course, anyone with an ounce of honesty knows that the CBO score was phony from the get go! I mean, scoring 10 years of revenue to pay for 6 years of benefits? Double counting Medicare savings to both pay for the bill and reduce the deficit? COME ON!

      Unfortunately, Ms. Pelosi was right, we would have to read the bill to find out what was really in it. In case you missed this George, here is a link:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/24/health/policy/24health.html?_r=1

      So, if the PPACA is going to raise health care costs at a greater rate than the “status quo” would have, the logic is impossible to escape. That logic dictates that the PPACA will ALSO CREATE AN UNSUSTAINABLE BURDEN ON THE TAXPAYER.

      The laudable social goal of universal coverage under the PPACA(without addressing the issue of cost control) is therefore reckless, unsustainable and irresponsible!