Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Physician Assistant Will See You Now

38 members of the California Congressional delegation voted for Obamacare.

Both California senators voted for Obamacare.

Now, Californians will all have some kind of health insurance. Unfortunately, they will not have access to health care.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

"We're going to be mandating that every single person in this state have insurance," said state Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina), chairman of the Senate Health Committee and leader of the effort to expand professional boundaries. "What good is it if they are going to have a health insurance card but no access to doctors?"

And also:

Currently, just 16 of California's 58 counties have the federal government's recommended supply of primary care physicians, with the Inland Empire and the San Joaquin Valley facing the worst shortages. In addition, nearly 30% of the state's doctors are nearing retirement age, the highest percentage in the nation, according to the Assn. of American Medical Colleges.

State government officials are trying to solve the problem by allowing nurse practitioners, physician assistants and other paramedical professionals to offer more care for patients.

So, the bluest of blue states thought that it was voting for affordable health care. It has just discovered that it has voted itself third rate health care.

It’s fair to speculate that the Silicon Valley billionaires and the Hollywood swells do not have this problem. In their world you call a physician and you get an appointment.

Now California is divided between the rich and the rest.

Should we feel sorry for “the rest?” Not at all. They cast their votes. They elected their representatives. They did not get what they wanted. They are not going to get what they were promised. In fact, they have been royally screwed. But they will continue to vote Democratic and will blame the physician shortage on the Tea Party and Fox News.

They won’t have access to physicians, but they have gotten social justice. You cast your vote and you pay the price. 

It’s the social justice that befalls you when you vote to grant yourself something that you did not earn, only to wake up and discover that you have gotten what you have paid for.

I hope they all enjoy their social justice.


Larry Geiger said...

Whoa Stuart! Feeling a little bit snarky today :-)

Knucklehead said...

Not defending either CA or Obamacare, but I can guarantee you that MANY people who have PAs and NPs involved in their health care would dispute your "third rate healthcare" claim. any PAs and NPs are nothing short of First Rate.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

I'm sure they are... but are they all at the same level of knowledge and experience as a physician? I would guess that they are not. As for Obamacare, let's remember that the President promised that we would all be able to keep our doctors, not that there would not be enough doctors.

Acad Ronin said...

Tomorrow I will be seeing my PA for an annual check up of sorts. She is good, and has the time to chat and ask questions. She also knows when to call in the doctor she works for to check something. Similarly, in my interactions with a law firm dealing with the probate of a will I am the executor on, most of the time I deal with a paralegal. She too knows when to check with the attorney. These are efficient arrangements that save me money. I suspect that the physician shortage in CA is more to do with CA's tax policy than Obamacare, which I agree is horrible policy.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

No one is saying that PAs can't do some of what physicians used to do. I recall however a conversation with a cardio-thoracic surgeon from CA who told me that in the past, when he performed open-heart surgery he would be backed up by a second surgeon. Now, he said, due to Medicare cuts, his backup is an RN. There are situations where the lack of physicians does make a difference.