supply and demand

But Who Will Make More Doctors?

Bones will, that's who! IN SPACE.Oh so is this what that woman was talking about at Obama’s Knife ‘n’ Gun Show yesterday? This one questioner, called upon specifically because she had “concerns,” made the excellent point that if you insure 46 million people who currently have no health coverage, then they might actually go to the doctor once in a while! This may create a “doctor shortage” of some sort that would be terribly inconvenient for those of us who currently enjoy immediate access to doctors of all sorts, due to the fact that we do not have to share them with a large percentage of our countrymen.

Couple points:

1) Just because people are uninsured doesn’t mean they don’t go to the doctor already. Check out your local emergency room, which is jam-packed with uninsured Swine Flu Babies and untreated hypertensives who might never have had to take a $10,000 ambulance ride to the hospital if they’d been able to get a checkup, ever. All those people are now being treated, by ER doctors! So the whole supply-demand question is a tricky one, as it’s difficult to determine how many people are uninsured AND never see doctors ever AND actually would see doctors if they could.

OK actually that is the only point. Except:

2) Hey Newsmax writer, do not draft your posts in Word unless you want those retarded “�” symbols to keep showing up instead of quotation marks.

3) It is true that we need more nurses and primary care physicians. Oh well! We are SCREWED.

Doctor Shortage Looms Amid Healthcare Reform [Newsmax]

About the author

Sara K. Smith was Wonkette's morning editor from 2008 to 2010, and now contributes a weekly (?!) column to Wonkette, to prove she still loves you all!

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68 comments

  1. Cape Clod

    Oh my god. Obama is planning to clone doctors to make his health care plan work. Is there none of God’s laws that this man is unwilling to break! WAKE UP, SHEEPLE!!!

  2. Monsieur Grumpe

    All we need to do is just lower the bar a little bit for a medical doctorate. 2 years at a community college should be enough.

  3. wildeoats

    Really, though, we will need millions more insurance clerks to deny coverage and generate paperwork.

  4. Servo

    Rednecks avoid doctors because they don’t wanna hear the truth, especially comin’ from a purty talkin’, ejimicated, librul doc.

  5. ShamWow

    “There aren’t going to be any doctors around – doctors are going to bail out,”

    Oh really? And where exactly are these doctors going to bail out to? All of the developed nations already have gubmint socialist nazi obamacare which is what they would defect from. Me confused.

  6. doxastic

    Obviously the best way to solve the problem is the current approach of limiting the amount of people able to see doctors. I fully expect Jonah Goldberg to plagiarize this argument in…..3…..2….

  7. ForTheTurnstiles

    [re=383935]ShamWow[/re]: Who wants to hear their shit? I go to the doctor to get my “Medicines,” not to talk about my smoking, my stories on TV, or my Hot Pockets. Just scribble on the prescription pad and the the fuck out of my way and don’t even THINK of sticking that finger of yours in my coochie again Doctor Phil!

    (oh can I get a three month supply of the Oxycontin this time please doctor Thank you)

  8. FredZiffel

    “There aren’t going to be any doctors around – doctors are going to bail out,” says Kathryn Serkes of the Association of American Physicians & Surgeons. “You may have an insurance policy from the government, but you won’t be able to get an appointment or get an actual doctor to take care of you.”

    You’re a real humanitarian, Ms. Serkes.

  9. x111e7thst

    I do not care for this whole notion of having to share my doctors with poor people. Poor people are often black or Hispanic and almost always smelly.

  10. finallyhappy

    [re=383941]FredZiffel[/re]: Will they go to India because a lot of the doctors near me are Indian? Or does she think there are a lot of jobs Drs will want to take? I do notice that supermarkets seem to need meat cutters- a perfect spot for a doctor who bails out.

  11. Urbanachiever

    The Association of American Physicians & Surgeons is largely comprised of private practice docs, many of whom don’t accept insurance anyway, so I wouldn’t pay them much attention.

  12. S.Luggo

    [re=383935]ShamWow[/re]: Where will the doctors bailout to? Silly man, either they’ll be operating our Obama death panels or they’ll find high-paying jobs at the local Walmart or Chili’s. Questioned answered.

  13. Vulpes82

    [re=383927]wildeoats[/re]: But that’s just where all these “bailing out” doctors can go! It’s genius!

  14. tootsieroll

    [re=383942]Barrett808[/re]:
    “This is democracy’s great barbaric yawp”

    Noonan is a Seuss fan? Who knew?

  15. doxastic

    Listen, Kathy Serkes did not get in this business to get paid Medicare rates. Or, for that matter, to “help people”

  16. Servo

    Then we’ll fly you to the fun-filled paradise of Kyrgyzstan to use their state-of-the-art hospitals and clinics.

  17. ShamWow

    [re=383971]S.Luggo[/re]: You are correct, Walmart and Chili’s will be filled with former doctors who got sick and tired of Americans and their childish demands, like for doctor appointments and surgery. Hippocratic Oath be damned!

  18. hockeymom

    Well, I for one, think this is good news. I was beginning to be concerned that the only job opportunities available to my children in the future were a. Hobo
    b. Home weatherizer
    c. serf.

    Now I see they can also be doctors and nurses.

    Huzzah!

  19. The Names Jesus

    Some healing thoughts when there are no doctors around.
    Back in my day we did one of the following:
    1. Just walk around and let them grab the hem of your clothing. This only works for little people and those too sick to stand. I really can’t say how well this worked since I was always on my way somewhere when someone tried this and never got to hang around to see the results.
    2. Command the demon to come out. The problem here is the demon has to go somewhere and if you don’t happen to have some pigs handy well you could be next on the demon’s short list.
    3. Grab a handful of dirt and spit in it then rub it where it hurts – the original Active On. If you don’t want to get your hands dirty or you just don’t like the individual just spit on them. This works, I’ve seen people jump right out of their death beds when this healing technique was used.
    4. You can just say in your best radio announcer voice “be healed”. This approach puts a lot of the responsibility on the faith of the recipient and their results will likely depend on the size of the mountain they managed to move.
    5. You can always pray. If it were me I’d try to have a recent lottery winner do the praying – you just can’t argue with those results.
    6. You can try to put them at ease by explaining that one of their relatives was either a goat fucker or worked for Bush (likely both) and the sins of the fathers are always visited upon the sons. So, while nothing can be done it isn’t their fault.

    Or, drop what you’re doing and follow me, I’m moving to Canada where the health care is better.

  20. poopsmith

    The workforce issue is a huge one and expansion of medical school and graduate medical education (including hospital residency programs) has been included in the medicare expansion for every bill that has come out of congress. I study health policy and the psycho at the forum has a valid point and frankly, Sarah, I don’t think you do. I’ve worked in emergency departments and that isn’t the place you get primary or preventative care, you get it in an office, and there has been a shortage of primary care doctors for almost two decades.

    Yes, insure everyone, but also make sure we have an increase in the amount of primary care docs out there, because its going to be a huge problem.

  21. tootsieroll

    [re=383986]Chickensmack[/re]: yeah, I was thinking of Horton the elephant, but JoJo yells, YOPP.
    Fail.

  22. azw88

    Actually, all the moran has to do is turn of ‘smart quotes’ in Word and all will be fine.

    As for the shortage of primary care doctors, with our without health care reform there is a shortage and it is about to get worse as the current ones are about to die off, and no one wants the job. Specialist get paid more, work less, allowing them plenty of time to work on their golf game, which is why they all went to medical school in the first place.

    Obama’s health care bill needs to have free rounds of golf for primary care doctors, that would be a great start to solving this problem.

  23. hobospacejunkie

    [re=384003]poopsmith[/re]: Perhaps you missed the part where SKS write that we need more nurses and primary care physicians.

  24. S.Luggo

    Where to get all them doctors? Piffle. We just snatch ‘em from the emergency rooms that the uninsured losers and non-producers now go to get their babies birthed, gun shot wounds looked after, and heroin prescriptions filled.

  25. Gopherit

    [re=384003]poopsmith[/re]: bah. An additional 40 million is ~15% increase. So doctors won’t get 4 vacations a year anymore. They’ll have to spend more money on hookers and coke too soothe themselves. The shortage of nurses is a perennial problem, primarily because their jobs are hard and largely thankless. If you can figure out how to make that attractive, you’ll make a lot of people happy.

  26. nestor

    If you don’t believe in evolution, you don’t get the fruits of the theory (modern medicine). Problem fucking solved.

  27. Naked Bunny with a Whip

    Us furries just go to the local vet for cheap, cheap drugs and the occasional thermometer up our ass.

  28. Roger the Shrubber

    Has there been any discussion about dental insurance reform? I mean, having a mouthful of (for wingnuts add: remaining) diseased teeth is definitely going to lead to a lot of primary care for secondary problems.

  29. trickyrick

    [re=384003]poopsmith[/re]: “shortage of primary care doctors for almost two decades”.

    Thank You AMA! good job!

  30. trickyrick

    [re=384072]Gopherit[/re]: give the nurses the money that usually goes to paper pushers over at health insurance denial.com

    Mo’ money = mo’ nurses.

    in fact mo’ money for teh medical scholarships + grants + low interest med school loans = mo’ doctors

  31. BadKitty

    Who needs doctors when we have GEEZUSSS? Actual Letter to the Editor from my local newspaper:

    We’re all covered under the greatest health care plan available. That health care plan is free, but requires personal discipline.

    Nutrition, exercise, clean water, sunshine, temperance, fresh air, rest, and faith in God are the keys to good health, not Obama’s health care plan.

    The way to good health is not rocket science, but common sense. Eat healthy foods only, the human body was not designed to live on animal fats, and does much better with a plant-based diet. Vegetarians have a longer life span and are healthier. Exercise is the key to keeping the cardiovascular and immune systems in good shape and for weight control. Walk briskly for 20 minutes a day. Our bodies are predominately water, so we need to daily flush our bodies with water – in with the clean and out with old. Sunshine and fresh air are needed, not just for vitamin D, but also for our emotional/spiritual health. Temperance includes the avoidance of alcohol, tobacco, and over-eating, three of the greatest killers. Rest is needed for our bodies to recover and refurbish. And a day of rest gives us time to develop our relationship with God and family.

    Faith in God is what gives us peace, hope and joy – giving us a better quality and quantity of life. With 27 million Americans on anti-depressants, I wonder if they went to the wrong source for peace, hope and joy? God also heals us as God works through our prayers and faith – the Bible is full of examples and I know of many cases where God healed. God is the Great Physician and Good Counselor and the health care He provides is the greatest of all.

    Ultimately, our health care, while provided by God, is our responsibility to implement.

  32. Paul Tardy

    Ahh How can there be a doctor shortage? We already have the waiting list time down to 0.00005 Seconds as opposed to Canada’s 55 years. Do you mean American has no waiting lists because there are people who aren’t allowed on line?

  33. One Yield Regular

    Orly Taitz is already on-line filling out the necessary forms for her correspondence school M.D.

  34. finallyhappy

    [re=384283]Schnormal[/re]: And they take American students to train in 3rd world medicine(like when you have to use old school syringes that need to be sterilized). The Washington Post ran a story on this a few years ago.

  35. Paul Tardy

    This just in from Drudge of all places, totally undeserving teenager gets pace maker after coke binge, from the same British NHS which would have left Sen. Ted Kennedy and that wheelchair physics guy on a deserted island off Scotland to die of exposure. That’s why I don’t want Obama Care.

    Boy, 17, fitted with pacemaker after massive heart attack caused by £200-a-week coke binge
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1205751/17-year-old-boy-suffers-heart-attack-cocaine-abuse.html

  36. joeybrill

    They’ll have to recruit weed farmers and they’ll have to call them ‘doktors’ instead of ‘doctors’.

    These doktors will solve everything with a dime bag and funions. Unfortunately, Doktors will be paid in weed and funions so they’ll be very wary of over prescribing meds.

    Then we’ll all have snacks and sing songs.

  37. the deliverator

    [re=384159]trickyrick[/re]: and less frivolous lawsuits. It’s amazing anybody gets an OB anymore, the malpractice premiums put them out of business.

  38. Cape Clod

    [re=384033]Sara K. Smith[/re]: Thank you, Sarah. Can you send an electric charge through the internet when you ban someone? That dope was definately asking for one.

  39. glamourdammerung

    The problem is that no matter how many doctors we have, there will be a shortage simply due to our size. I really do not see how that is going to be fixed short of ordering doctors to go live out in the middle of nowhere.

  40. Lionel Hutz Esq.

    Surely we can import witch doctors from Kenya?

    And, Sara:

    2) Hey Newsmax writer, do not draft your post[], they are retarded . . . [and] keep showing up . . . .

    Fixed.

  41. BlueStateLibtard

    [re=384420]glamourdammerung[/re]: There’s a shortage of doctors because it’s so expensive. No one wants to graduate med school with $100,000 owed in student loans. That leaves it to the Buffys and Chips of the Harvard set, who’d rather be living off their trust funds or milking Wall Street. A really revolutionary idea might be to pay for doctors to go to school, but only the sicko countries do that.

  42. Carl Spakler

    Red herring argument alert!

    So, I guess the 47 million or so w/o health insurance are just going without, riiiight.

    “Hey honey, kids got colic, but we’re uninsured so, let’s just skip on going to the emergency room”

    The economic geniuses who gave you the $10.7 trillion debt are now trying to convince us they know something about demand curves and health care.

  43. Dean Booth

    [re=384021]azw88[/re]: Any option in Word named “smart” (e.g., smart quotes, smart cut and paste, etc.) is dumb. And every new version of Word comes with more “smart” features to screw up documents. [/end geek rant]

  44. glamourdammerung

    [re=384623]BlueStateLibtard[/re]: Even with that, there would still be uncovered areas in the U.S. simply due to how remote some of it is. The fact that some states have more tumbleweeds/icebergs than people is not really something that I think is reasonably going to be addressed through any currently proposed legislation. I am not really sure it can really be fixed at all other than trying to create more infrastructure to link up locations.

  45. Captain Swing

    I watch the U.S. healthcare debate with interest (and no small amount of bemusement).

    Here in Australia, we have a Government health care system which is available to all. If you choose to have private health insurance, the Federal Government provides a partial rebate for your premiums. We have waiting lists, but overall, the system works pretty well.

    In my case, my (private) insurance costs about USD80.00 per month. For that, I get my choice of doctors, immediate access to the best private hospitals in Melbourne, as well as my six monthly dental check-ups (my choice of dentist).

    It seems there is always a shortage of doctors and nurses, everywhere- Doctors, because (as much as we love to bag them for spending too much time wielding the five iron instead of the scalpel) it’s a tough job, and requires considerable college time; and nurses, even tougher, because they (literally) cop the dirty jobs, and don’t receive anywhere near the money or respect that doctors demand.

    I can’t help but think that your system has been neglected for so long, fixing it will be measured in years, assuming the President can talk enough sense to people to actually get a worthwhile bill passed (I do hope he took up Her Hillaryness’s offer and borrowed her dented suit of armour).

    Surely an increase in demand for medical staff will be a good thing in the long run – More jobs, more skilled workers, ultimately a more healthy population.

    Beyond the above, all I can say is- Keep at it Mr. President (and perhaps start publicly calling out some of the liars, buffoons and scaremongers for what they are)… oh, and Good Luck…

  46. ColoradoJohn

    We don’t need socialized medicine — we need socialized law! Every American should have equal access to the same level of legal help as the members of Congress. Every American should have the same legal team that mere money could buy — and our tax dollars should pay for it!
    All lawyers should get an $80,000 per year salary, which could be modified by Congress up to 5% per year to account for inflation. Under the socialized law plan, lawyers cannot charge per hour fees, expenses, or a percentage of any judgements, including judgements on class action suits. Lawyers will be assigned randomly, based on the specialty requested — civil, family, corporate, or tax. Corporations may not hire their own lawyers or request a certain lawyer when they are needed. Lawyers are not allowed to profit from lawsuits in any way, and are not allowed to accept tips or gifts. Finally, once a lawyer has actually practiced law in any way, that person is no longer eligible to run for any public office, vote, become a judge, or act in any way that resembles a lobbyist.

    Implement my socialized law plan FIRST, and I bet a)the medical staff shortage goes away, b)the cost of healthcare dramatically drops, and c) the need for socialized medicine goes away like a bad fart.

  47. Walter72

    No one is “entitled” to the service of another person. The only people “entitled” to free healthcare are doctors who have the ability to treat themselves. You want free healthcare? Start reading some medical textbooks and figure it out for yourself. Only so many people have the ability, intelligence, skill, etc.. to become a doctor. Claiming that it is the right of every citizen to have another citizen take care of them is completely absurd.

    Uninsured Americans outnumber Canadian citizens in total. There are more uninsured Americans than people living in the countries of Denmark, Switzerland, Sweden and Holland combined. It is one thing to implement a bureaucracy for 5 million people (like in Denmark) but another thing entirely to implement a bureaucracy for 307 million people. Most of these countries with socialized medicine possess only a fraction of our population. Denmark is about half the size of Los Angeles, Sweden is smaller than New York City, Holland is about half the size of California, and England is roughly the size of the West Coast. You want an idea of what it’s like to implement a bureaucracy for hundreds of millions of people? Checkout the Russian healthcare system, but keep in mind, Russia is only half the size of the US (population-wise).

    Healthcare is a fundamental right of citizens who live in countries with a fraction of the population of the United States and have income tax rates upwards of 50%. That’s one aspect of socialized medicine US politicians have somehow glossed over. England, Germany, France, Holland, Denmark, etc… DO pay for socialized medicine in taxes. Currently, in the US, some states don’t pay any income tax at all… let alone half of their paychecks. If say there were 16 million people living in the US (like Holland), and we payed a slight majority of our income in taxes, then we could actually afford to pay for healthcare coverage for all of our citizens. Our current tax rates, however, are generating massive deficits and are unable to cover the current system that is already in place. We are sending out far more cash than we are bringing in. If we tack trillions of dollars to our deficit but fail to account for it with taxes, our economy will continue to spiral downwards toward oblivion.

    These Europeans who we compare ourselves to are astounded by the amount of money we spend (or waste, in their minds). They have far less cash to spend after taxes than we do and are much better at saving and conserving money. They view America as a culture of waste. The massive amounts of cash that we spend on entertainment, food, etc… simply would not be there if we implement socialized medicine (and truly paid for it, rather than racking up more deficits). European lifestyle is far different from the American lifestyle and in order to cover 300 million people with healthcare, that lifestyle would have to drastically change.

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