Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
Health Overhaul Could Worsen Doctor Shortages
BusinessWeek: "Presuming Congress passes some version of a health-care bill and it is signed into law, some 30 million currently uninsured people will suddenly find themselves with access to doctors. But there may not be enough doctors to see them." A 1997 law capped the number of doctors who could enter hospital training programs called residencies to lower costs for Medicare, which subsidizes the training. "Today the U.S. is in the grip of a nationwide doctor shortage, brought on by an aging population demanding access to specialists. Medical schools have stepped up to the plate, announcing plans to add 3,000 new positions for first-time students by 2018. But because the residency cap is still in place, these efforts may not be sufficient" (Wechsler, 12/17).
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