Report: Health Care Law to Worsen Doc Shortage

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The new health care law passed by Congress earlier this year will accelerate the shortage of doctors in the U.S., according to a new report by the Association of American Medical Colleges.

New estimates released by the AAMC's Center for Workforce Studies show shortages will be 50 percent worse by 2015 than first forecasted. 

"While previous projections showed a baseline shortage of 39,600 doctors in 2015, current estimates bring that number closer to 63,000, with a worsening of shortages through 2025," the group said in a statement.

While the new law provides health insurance for 33 million more Americans, there won't be enough new physicians to cover all of them.

"The United States already was struggling with a critical physician shortage and the problem will only be exacerbated as 32 million Americans acquire health care coverage, and an additional 36 million people enter Medicare," the statement read.
    
AAMC Chief Advocacy Officer Atul Grover said the situation could improve if funding is increased to train more doctors. He also suggested "making better use" of nurses, physician assistants, and technicians. 

"It's got to be a multi-pronged approach if we want to make sure Americans have access to health care," Grover said.

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