Florida Doesn’t Have Enough Doctors For Medicaid Expansion, Lobby Group Says

Photo Credit: Mike StockerBrace yourself for longer lines at the doctor’s office. Whether you’re employed and insured, elderly and on Medicare, or poor and covered by Medicaid, the Florida Medical Association says there’s a growing shortage of doctors — especially specialists — available to provide you with medical care.

And if the Florida Legislature goes along with Gov. Rick Scott’s recommendation to offer Medicaid coverage to an additional 1 million Floridians — part of the Affordable Care Act that takes effect next January — the FMA says that shortage will only get worse. “Florida needs more doctors and it needs more nurses, and it needs them working together in teams,” said Rebecca O’Hara, a lobbyist for the FMA.

About 15 million Floridians have health insurance today, and Obamacare, which requires most adults to have coverage by January, could add as many as 2.5 million more. One million would come through a potential expansion of the federal-state Medicaid program that Scott announced this week he was backing. The others would be the result of new mandates requiring employers and individuals to have insurance or be fined.

Currently, the state has 44,804 doctors, but about 5,600 of them are expected to retire in the next five years. And even though Florida has opened three new medical schools in the past dozen years, the state isn’t producing as many doctors as it needs. Scott’s budget this year has $80 million to fund programs to train 700 new residents a year, in hopes they’ll remain in the state.

Of all patients, people covered by Medicaid may have the hardest time finding a doctor; only 59 percent of the state’s physicians are taking new Medicaid patients, according to a Kaiser Health News study.

Read more from this story HERE.

  • jpeters3270

    Don’t think for one minute all those uninsured are not getting healthcare now. They are, its just that with Obamacare and the expansion of Medicaid, the taxpayers will now be paying for it. Medicaid patients are the most demanding of doctors, they have a 30% no show rate and take lousy care of themselves ’cause everything is free. Just wait until this attitude is institutionalized. Doctors will just stop taking Medicaid. Then what?

  • Capt.America

    We can import more Indians, Chinese, and Muslim doctors. Some of these have worked for as low as $30.per month, with the new B.O- B.S health care system (Little known Little required)

    • Kent2012

      Guv Scott can import a bunch of docs from Coobah, there are 10s of thousands just waiting for a patient……and how about Mehico, they already have the drugs with them when they slip over the border….

  • Bob2002

    What an idiot we have as our Florida governor. He needs to be defeated when he runs for re-election. Follow the money, because I suspect he has found a way to make money out of this decision to expand medicaid. Surely his advisors told him about the shortage of doctors and nurses his decison to expand medicaid would produce?