NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Young Physicians OK with Obamacare While Older Doctors Bristle

September 23, 2014

Though U.S. physicians continue to have issues with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), it appears to be a generational taste developing of the law making sweeping changes to their profession, according the Forbes. A new survey released last week by The Physicians Foundation displayed this gap by surveying doctors of different age and had them grade the ACA.

  • More than half of doctors age 46 or older give ACA a "D" or "F."

  • However, just 37 percent of doctors 45 and younger give the legislation such poor grades.

  • Nearly 30 percent of young doctors gave the law an "A" or a "B" rating when asked to grade the ACA as a vehicle for healthcare reform.

  • By comparison, only 22.9 percent of older doctors gave an "A" or "B" for that answers, with 26 percent giving it a "C."

The reason for this is that the ACA and other forces are moving doctors away from the fee-for-service medicine that allows doctors to liberally order procedures and tests as opposed to other low-cost methods. However, the new law has brought in more patients for physicians, tying up resources and adding a stress on the physician workforce.

According to a survey of 20,000 physicians conducted by MerrittHawkins:

  • 56 percent of physicians describe their morale as very negative to somewhat negative.

  • 17 percent of doctors are solo practices compared to 25 percent in 2012.

  • 39 percent of physicians say they will "accelerate their retirement plans" due to changes in health care.

  • 71 percent of doctors say they would still become a physician all over again.

Despite generational gaps, it is clear that physicians are still suffering under the new law and will continue to do so until something is changed.

Source: Forbes, "Young Physicians OK with Obamacare While Older Doctors Bristle," September 21, 2014.


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