The NY Times has an article by Annie Lowrey and Robert Pear today on the growing shortage of doctors in the United States. Now, logically, if you had a shortage of something what would you think is causing it? This article seems to have no clue.
Let me offer some suggestions. Try medicare and medicaid for starters. Whenever the government gets involved, people tend to head for the exit. Basically medicare and medicaid funding is based upon the premise that doctors would prefer to lower their own standard of living in the future and take on more patients. These programs assume that doctors would much prefer to deal with patients who cannot afford to pay them and have little or no incentive to take preventative health care seriously.
Why is there less interest in becoming a doctor? The combination of a future dealing with folks that cannot and will not pay, a government that is supposed to pay but is broke, a job that is overburdened with government red tape and a lifetime of defending yourself in court against frivolous lawsuits, is enough to convince smart and talented people to opt into some other profession.
The future of American medical care can be seen in modern Greece. Hospitals are corroding, patients cannot get care of any kind at any price, and basic medicines are sold mainly on the black market. That's where government health care takes you.
Obama said during the election: "Why is America the only county in the developed world who cannot afford health care for all of its citizens?" Interesting question. The answer: UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Greece, among others can't afford health care for all of its citizens either, unless there are enough bondholders out there to provide the funding. But that only works until bondholders wise up, as they are now doing in Europe.
European countries cannot afford government health care. No one can.
Only free markets can deliver quality health care. Everything else is simply fraud and will in time produce the result that we see playing out today in modern Greece.