SACRAMENTO (KCBS) – Millions of Californians who don’t have medical insurance will see that change within two years, now that the Supreme Court has upheld President Barack Obama’s health care reform law. But, California as a state may be hard-pressed to provide enough doctors to make sure all those new patients can actually get treatment.

With 2 million other Californians expected to buy subsidized insurance policies, the demand for doctors is expected to skyrocket.

“The question is can we incentivize or encourage more physicians to join the MediCal program so that all physicians provide some kind of care to MediCal patients,” wondered Josh Adler, M.D., chief medical office at UCSF Medical Center. He pointed out that many physicians don’t currently participate in MediCal.

KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:

That means California may need to expand the role of physician’s assistants and nurse practitioners.

“The issue is not access, the issue is efficiency,” argued Micah Weinberg, senior policy advisor for the Bay Area Council. “We need to become more efficient. If we do become more efficient, we will have access. If we don’t become more efficient, we’re up a creek whether or not we have health care reform.”

The health care reform law is slated to take full effect in 2014.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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