Assigned Reading: Physician Shortage is Getting Worse
Dr. William Harvey has written extensively here at AR about some of the realistic problems with the proposed healthcare reform legislation. One of the major problems he has highlighted is that we don’t have enough doctors. What good is it to promise millions of Americans access to healthcare on paper if there are no doctors and nurses to provide the healthcare? The government may as well pass a law mandating that everyone gets a pink unicorn.
When markets are allowed to operate freely prices are the mechanism that transfer information from producers to consumers. How else to you think it is possible to get online retailers, internet service providers, software developers in Apple, assembly plants in China, hardware vendors all across the world, and raw-material suppliers to all coordinate so that you can buy an iPod from Apple.com? Government intervention to control the economy and force people to provide or consume destroys the communication system of the market.
None of this is rhetorical. We are feeling the impacts already:
Brace yourselves: Demand for physicians continues to outstrip supply, and the problem is likely to get worse, according to new data.
Researchers found that about 95 percent of those CEOs reported a physician shortage, with a vacancy rate of 11 percent, potentially compromising care in almost half of those cases. This was despite the fact that 34 percent of the CEOs had increased their physician staff roster within the previous six months.
Meanwhile, physician vacancies aren’t the only major headache hospital CEOs face. Ninety-one percent of CEOs said that they were seeing a nursing shortfall, though the vacancy rate was just 6 percent.
Markets don’t just react to prices today. They react to expectations for what those prices will be tomorrow. And right now the Democrats are working their hardest to send discouraging messages to doctors and nurses. We will pay you less. And we will control you more.
The government is promising something it can’t deliver. We can’t have more healthcare without doctors to provide it. They can’t live up to their promises to provide access to millions of Americans because without the doctors in place there is no access to be had. And their attempts to control the market are going to make the doctor shortage worse rather than better.