New Survey Reveals Increasing Wait Periods for Doctor Appointments Under Obamacare

P. Gardner Goldsmith | March 30, 2017
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Sometimes, what the dinosaur pop news media don’t report is as revealing as how they slant what they do report. Here's an example: the fact that some Americans are now waiting upwards of two months for a doctor's appointment, all thanks to Obamacare.

A recent report on the average waiting times to see a doctor, written by John R. Graham for the Independent Institute, is a great example. His observations, and the survey on which his observations are based, got very little coverage from the mainly left-wing “news” agencies. But a look at the information is stunning.

According to Graham, Merritt Hawkins, a physician staffing company, recently issued the results of its periodic survey of waiting times for doctor appointments in the new, glorious "Obamacare" era, and the results aren’t good.

“The average wait time for a physician appointment for the 15 large metro markets surveyed is 24.1 days, up 30% from 2014,” he said. Additionally, “The average wait time for a new patient physician appointment in all 15 mid-sized markets is 32 days, 32.8% higher than the average for large metro markets.”

According to Graham, this is a symptom of increasing centralization, centralization that has been creeping up on the health care field with the heavier burdens of government regulations.

Of the 15 major markets surveyed, Boston has the longest waiting time (52.4 days) while Dallas has the shortest (14.8 days). This is not surprising, because queuing is a symptom of a system where resources are allocated by central planners exercising government privilege. Massachusetts has long been at the forefront of efforts to guarantee universal access to care through government planning, whereas Texas has no interest in such a program.

If left the way it currently is, this problem will only get worse each year as “Obamacare” puts more strain on the system. The law artificially increases demand, requires limits on what government will reimburse, and forces more “cost-shifting” from the government-subsidized claims to the people paying out of their own pocket. Increased wait times are an inevitable outcome of such a system, and are precisely what British citizens have dealt with for years. Many Canadians stuck in their own government medical morass found the situation so offensive, they fled over the border to the U.S. to get care in a timely fashion.

It is happening in the U.S. now. And it will get worse unless the market is allowed to function.

Politicians are generally averse to allowing for this kind of freedom, so be ready to suffer a lot longer before you get to see someone who can help.