Writing this spring in The New York Times, Kevin Sack discussed an unintended consequence of the Massachusetts health reform law which mandates coverage for everyone. Newly insured residents, finally able to pay for their care, have trouble finding doctors and/or have to wait months for appointments. Here’s what Dr. Bruce Auerbach, the president-elect of the Massachusetts Medical Society, told Congress earlier this year: “It’s a fundamental truth which we re learning the hard way in Massachusetts that comprehensive health care reform cannot work without appropriate access to primary care physicians and providers.”
Surely someone should be talking about all this during the campaign. The absence of stories about the primary care doc shortage typifies the limited nature of the media’s health care coverage. By focusing its lens solely on the most basic of questions—to insure, or not to insure—the press has failed to zoom out to to a wider view of the broken medical system.