The ObamaCare preview that Massachusetts has been conducting for the last several years grows more ominous by the month, not that anyone in Washington is paying attention. So let's check on the Bay State's latest warning, coming soon to a hospital or medical practice near you.More:
A new survey released yesterday by the Massachusetts Medical Society reveals that fewer than half of the state's primary care practices are accepting new patients, down from 70% in 2007, before former Governor Mitt Romney's health-care plan came online. The average wait time for a routine checkup with an internist is 48 days. It takes 43 days to secure an appointment with a gastroenterologist for chronic heartburn, up from 36 last year, and 41 days to see an OB/GYN, up from 34 last year.
• Emergency room visits jumped 9% between 2004 and 2008, in part due to the lack of routine access to providers.
• Merely 43% of internists and 56% of family physicians accept Commonwealth Care, the heavily subsidized middle-class insurance program. The same respective figures are 53% and 62% for price-controlled Medicaid.
• The Medical Society also finds “a continued deterioration of the practice environment for physicians in Massachusetts.”
The Journal concludes: “Perhaps you should book your checkups now, in advance of the national sequel.”