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doctor-2One of the major consequences of the recently passed health care reform legislation hasn’t generated much attention, let alone debate. What might that be? How about the fact that with tens of millions of uninsured people likely to get coverage over the next few years, who is going to perform all of these additional medical services, and how will costs be controlled as demand quickly races ahead of supply?

The fact is we already face a shortage of primary care doctors in the United States, according to The Physicians Foundation (http://www.physiciansfoundations.org/), a non-profit group that says it “seeks to advance the work of practicing physicians and to improve the quality of health care for all Americans.”

Officers of the group have been circulating an op-ed piece on this subject (http://www.physiciansfoundations.org/PressReleaseDetails.aspx?id=195), raising issues that should concern not only health insurers and employee benefit managers, but workers’ comp and auto carriers as well–indeed, anyone issuing policies with a medical component.

In 2008, the foundation, working with Merritt Hawkins & Associates, surveyed U.S. primary care physicians and uncovered some very disturbing trends. Among the lowlights, according to the group:

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