Petersen, Tom

Tom Peterson works for the Association of California Healthcare Districts

Reform A Hollow Promise Without Doctors To Treat New Patients

By Tom Petersen
Association of California Healthcare Districts

National healthcare reform is a victory for America’s hard-working families, for the unemployed, and for individuals who have nowhere to turn except to distant emergency rooms when they get sick or injured. Unfortunately in California, the promise of this reform cannot be realized unless we make some policy changes to ensure that there are sufficient numbers of doctors willing to treat these newly insured patients.

Today, there are not enough doctors willing to serve the current number (~7 million) of uninsured and government insured (Medi-Cal) individuals in California let alone the projected 1.5 million newly eligible under Health Care Reform.   According to the California Medical Association, 70% of California doctors do not treat Medi-Cal patients as reimbursement for their services covers less than half of cost of their cost for an average office visit.