Opinion: Obamacare to blame as doctor shortage threatens states

Kevin Griffin

Tyler Spaugh

North Carolina has become one of an ever-growing number of states that will not expand its Medicaid after a vote by the state legislature on Thursday, according to the News & Observer.

Getting states to expand their Medicaid program is a central component of the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as “Obamacare.” The purpose of the expansion is to provide access to affordable healthcare for those who are currently uninsured.

Unfortunately, the act has not even taken effect yet, but has already caused healthcare premiums to rise by an average of $3,065, according to Forbes.

The act has also caused some to question whether there are enough doctors for it to be successful. The state of California, which will expand Medicaid, has acknowledged that there will be shortages of doctors in the state.

California is considering allowing nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants to have “more autonomy” in treating patients, according to the LA Times, and even allowing pharmacists to act as some people’s “care providers.”

Allowing people who aren’t doctors to act as doctors is just as bad of an idea as it sounds, but there is no good way to compensate for the shortages under this act.

It is impossible for the government to artificially introduce millions of people into the healthcare system without causing a shortage.

There are better ways to fix the healthcare system, which was still pretty good by global standards before Obamacare.

Instead of dictating that employers provide healthcare benefits to all of their employees, we should focus on creating more jobs that can afford to purchase health insurance.

Companies are already laying people off because of the costs they believe Obamacare imposes. For example, the medical technology firm Smith & Nephew announced earlier this month they were laying 100 people off, according to the Huffington Post.

Obamacare could ensure that more people have health insurance, but this comes at the cost of many people losing their jobs.

President Ronald Reagan once argued that after government begins to take control of the healthcare industry, it would not be that long before the government would have to tell doctors where they can live and work to fix the shortages caused by attempts at universal healthcare.

I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a lawmaker in Reagan’s home state of California who has already considered that possibility.

Spaugh, a freshman accounting major from Winston-Salem, is an opinion writer.