The estimate is that 70% of California’s physicians will not participate in the program. If accurate, this will create a nightmare for ObamaCare.
The physicians in California are paid at Medicaid rates — far below costs. The physicians say they will not do it.
It’s about time. In 1977, I was part of a team that warned physicians that this was coming. We suggested that they opt out. We flew to 12 cities in 14 days giving this message. There were three teams. On the teams were physicians from Canada, Australia, and Great Britain. They told horror stories of how the three governments cut payments.
It has taken 35 years to come true, but it is now coming true.
Will 70% hold firm? No one knows. Will they be squeezed if they capitulate? Yes. Their practices will be put under price controls. Price controls produce shortages. Always.
The people of California are going to get a firsthand look at what price controls also always produce: non-price rationing. People will sit in full doctors’ offices. They will pay with their lost time. Others will find that no physician will accept them. They will find physicians going to 100% fee-for-service practices: no medical insurance. Pay at the door when you leave. “Major credit cards are accepted.”
Some will retire. Some will move out of California. There are lots of places to practice medicine besides California.