On Saturday, the New York Times ran a piece on the shortage of primary care doctors, noting that "in Massachusetts, in an unintended consequence of universal coverage, the imbalance is being exacerbated by the state's new law requiring residents to have health insurance." It may be unintended, but it sure shouldn't be seen as unanticipated that subsidizing health care for more people would lead to long lines and a further strain on supply.
The article centers around the practice of family physician Dr. Katherine J. Atkinson, whose calendar is so backed up, that the next available appointment isn't until May 2009. At the end of the article, she laments the fact that government-run health care programs do not reimburse her adequately:
I've been hard on Mitt Romney on this blog, but I'll give him credit for one thing. By making such a mess of things in Massachusetts, those of us who still consider ourselves free market conservatives have a real life example to point to that demonstrates why government mandated universal health care is a recipe for disaster. Or, at the very minimum, the failure of RomneyCare will make it easier to argue against the more squishy conservatives who believe that the only way to stop socialized medicine is to settle with liberals for "the best we can get."
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