California’s state-run Obamacare health insurance exchange, Covered California, is touted by the Obama administration as a model of the policy’s success. That was, in fact, the political strategy all along, as Obama’s non-profit organization, Organizing for Action, focused on helping California’s rollout effort. But in addition to inflated web traffic numbers and privacy concerns, Covered California now faces an acute doctor shortage.
An estimated 70% of California doctors will not participate in the Obamacare-compliant health insurance policies offered by Covered California, according to the California Medical Association, as reported by the Washington Examiner. Though Covered California claims that 85% of doctors will participate, many doctors listed as participating are expected to decline payment, having learned that reimbursements will be very low.
The shortage of physicians was already expected to be a challenge for Obamacare, given that millions of new patients would potentially be demanding medical services. However, that shortage may now be even more acute than expected, particularly in Obamacare’s flagship state. Reimbursement rates in California for federal programs like Medicare were already among the lowest in the nation, the Examiner‘s Richard Pollock notes.