Assuming Obamacare comes into law in 2014, this will bring some thirty-two-millions adults into the insurance market. That is a large number of people. At present, they only come into the system when their symptoms become so serious, they cannot be ignored. Trips to the nearest emergency room are the result. For the rest of the time, they stay outside the system, buying whatever drugs they think they need online and hoping for the best. But if they all suddenly have insurance coverage, this opens the door to local doctors and, if referrals are in order, they will all arrive in your local hospitals and clinics. Put another way. You may think the current healthcare facilities are stretched. Just wait to see what happens when thirty-two-million more people try to use them.
This is not something we can ignore. We need a major new building plan to put new hospitals and clinics into play for 2014. Thinking about time, with less than four years to go, the capital for building must be found, land must be acquired, any zoning issues must be resolved, physical building must be completed, and all the relevant equipment installed. Except empty buildings need the staff to run them. Where are all the doctors going to come from? Waiting lists are already long. Even if medical schools expand their facilities ready for the 2011 intake, will they be able to train enough doctors to start filling in all the gaps when these new hospitals start recruiting? And then think about all the nursing and auxiliary staff required. As it stands, the US would collapse were it not able to import staff from other countries. In particular, the Philippines and India now supply the majority of the nursing professionals. Where will all the new health workers come from? Here we can note an interesting point of contrast with other developed countries. Graduate nurses are allowed to order some tests and prescribe a limited range of medications. In the US, doctors jealously guard the privileges of their rank. But if there are too few doctors, patients may be left without effective treatment for long periods of time. This is unacceptable.
Once you follow through the logic of the healthcare reforms, you can see tens of thousands of new health professionals are going to be required. The US fails to recruit an adequate number of local people to fill these jobs. They are considered underpaid and too demanding. Thus, only through massive immigration can the US provide the care made necessary by the legal reforms. As it stands today, little or nothing is being done. Indeed, in some states, the local Republican leaderships are actively resisting any changes to the status quo. All this does is store up troubles for the healthcare industry and the health insurance industry that will be picking up much of the bills for treatment. We need action now to increase the training and education resources for doctors and nurses. Even if we do not have new buildings, we can at least improve on the present position. Fortunately, the health insurance industry sees the problem and is beginning to change, albeit reluctantly. Hopefully, the medical profession will not be too far behind.