Congress and the Doc Shortage

You’re not the only one getting older. Take a look at your doctor.

One in 10 active physicians is between the ages of 65 and 75 — retirement age. More than a quarter is 55 to 64 — likely to retire within the decade.

The graying of our doctors and ourselves is part of the larger problem of access to health care. The goal of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, is to help everyone get insurance. Then what?

If you have health insurance through your employer or a public program such as Medicare, Medicaid or the Veterans Administration — as nearly 85 percent of us do — access depends on when you can see your doctor. That can be days, weeks or even months.

Seeing a doctor likely will get only more difficult, unless Congress acts. And even that won’t solve the problem.

By 2025, the nation will be short 46,000 to 90,000 physicians overall, the Association of American Medical Colleges warned Tuesday in its latest study, “The Complexities of Physician Supply and Demand: Projections from 2013 to 2025.”

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