Monday, August 10, 2009

ObamaCare = Longer Wait Times; Exhibit A: MASS

The Massachusetts experiment with public health care has not been working as well as it was advertised in 2006. The commonwealth's 2006 program closely resembles what Democrats are trying to push on the American public. Well, here are some inconvenient facts about the program:

From the 2009 Survey of Physician Appointment Wait Times (see p. 14):

As these numbers (in the chart above) indicate, Boston experiences by far the longest average wait times of any of the 15 metropolitan markets. In addition, wait times in Boston increased in 2009 over 2004 in three of the four specialties where comparisons are possible: dermatology, ob/gyn and orthopedic surgery. In general, wait times decreased in 2009 relative to 2004 in most metropolitan markets surveyed, with several exceptions.

Long wait times in Boston may be driven in part by the healthcare reform initiative that was put in place in Massachusetts in 2006. The initiative succeeded in covering many of the state’s uninsured patients. However, it has been reported that many patients in Massachusetts are encountering difficulty in accessing physicians. Survey results support these reports. Long appointment wait times in Boston also may signal what could happen nationally in the event that access to healthcare is expanded through healthcare reform. Increased demand resulting from improved access to care for approximately 47 million uninsured people can be expected to extend doctor appointment wait times in many markets.

HT: SBVOR and Carpe Diem


Divinity Avenue said...

Last night as I was trying to fall asleep this logical though bounced though my brain. Rationing is inevitable! You can't give free healthcare to 50 million people and not have waits or rationing.

If there are five doctors and ten patients in the waiting room, there's a little wait, but not bad. If you add, say, five more people to the waiting room, guess what! Either the wait goes up for good care, or the care quality goes down to keep the wait time down.


VH said...

Agreed. With less incentives, talented individuals will probably think hard before joining the ranks of physicians--ten or twelve years of schooling may not be worth it for many thereby reducing the ranks of doctors. Rationing ensues.

Harrison said...

George is a former Confederate State and as such your post must be racist. Just kidding. I hope they provide comfy chairs in Boston.