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Understanding The Affordable Care Act: Will Law Create Doctor Shortage?

Individual Mandate Goes Into Effect On Oct. 1
Doctor Examines Woman (credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Doctor Examines Woman (credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

CBS New York (con't)

Affordable Care Act Updates: CBSNewYork.com/ACA

Health News & Information: CBSNewYork.com/Health

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The so-called individual mandate aspect of the Affordable Care Act is set to take effect on Oct. 1.

As WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported in her 10-part series, Understanding The Affordable Care Act, those who will be newly insured and doctors alike have expressed concerns that the law will cause a shortage of doctors.

Restaurant worker Suzanne Zupello of Brooklyn will get insurance through the online exchanges when they go live next week, but she shares a concern as millions more get covered.

“It doesn’t mean anything if you can’t find a doctor that accepts your plan. You know, there’s lines to see doctors,” she told Diamond.

The lines may cause some to delay doctor visits and eventually end up in the emergency room, which is precisely what the Affordable Care Act was supposed to fix, Diamond reported.

Diana Yoon-Schwartz, a plastic surgeon in Huntington, Long Island, said the law will create bigger burden for physicians.

WEB EXTRA: UNDERSTANDING THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT

“We really had zero input in it and we don’t really view it as something that is going to be excellent for the doctor-patient relationship,” she told Diamond.

A Physicians Foundation survey of 13,000 doctors found 60 percent would retire today if they could.

“So to ask us to do more and work harder and get paid less, which is what they’re generally trying to do, those people aren’t stupid. They’re not going to do it anymore,” Dr. Yoon-Schwartz said.

That, Diamond reported, is a troubling prospect, considering the tsunami of aging Baby Boomers expected to buy insurance.

In Part 10 on Friday, Diamond will look at New Jersey’s effort to get people enrolled in a health insurance plan.

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