Health Overhaul Likely to Strain Doctor Shortage

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WASHINGTON -- If you don't have a doctor now, you better find one fast.

The new health care law is expected to bring in millions of new patients in the next few years, leading to longer waits and shorter visits.

"It's going to create a short-term challenge in terms of having enough physicians, particularly primary care physicians," Dr. Rick Foster, vice president of the South Carolina Hospital Association, told Greenville Online.

New reports are predicting a shortfall of approximately 40,000 primary care doctors over the next decade.

Meanwhile, the battle over the new law is far from over as several businesses warn it will be very expensive and states are fighting the new law in court.

Health Care Rallies

At rallies across the country opponents of the recently passed health care reform law are still making their voices heard.

So far, more than a dozen states are challenging its constitutionality for requiring all Americans to buy health insurance.

"I do not believe the United States government has a right, the authority or power to force us to purchase health insurance any more than, in the name of Homeland Security, they can force every American to have to buy a gun," Gov. Haley Barbour, R-Miss., said.

But several top Democrats say these lawsuits will go nowhere and that Republicans ultimately are burning up time and money.

"This is a frivolous lawsuit," Gov. Ed Rendell, D-Pa., said. "It's a waste of taxpayers' dollars at a time when all the states are fighting to preserve those dollars."

Some major corporations are also sounding the alarm. AT&T, Verizon, Caterpiller, and John Deere said the new law will add major expenses, with AT&T taking the biggest hit at $1 billion in first quarter costs.

The companies have been summoned to a hearing on Capitol Hill to back up their claims.

Breaking the Bank

Meanwhile, other critics are concerned that the health care law will break Washington's bank.

"If this health care bill stands, it will not only destroy our health care system, we believe it will bankrupt our country," Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., told CBS's "Face the Nation."

Government officials say President Obama's total projected spending for health care along with everything else will lead to unprecedented debt.

The Congressional Budget Office's final analysis of the president's 2011 budget shows the bill will generate about $10 trillion in cumulative budget deficits over the next decade, bringing the total national debt to over $20 trillion.

That will translate into more than $170,000 per household.

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