The Doctor Shortage and Universal Coverage:

The New York Times article referenced by David, highlights an important point -- expanding coverage is not the same same thing as broadening access to care. Coverage initiatives focus on the financing side of the market; access is a function of both the financing and delivery sides of the market — and the shortage of primary care options can complicate efforts to broaden access by expanding coverage — with Massachusetts providing some recent evidence on the point.

For those interested in more on these subjects, I've just posted a new paper on "Employment-Based Health Insurance and Universal Coverage: Four Things People Know that Aren't So."

The article systematically evaluates four myths of American health policy:

  • Employers pay for employment-based coverage;

  • There are 45.7 million uninsured Americans;

  • Universal coverage means everyone will have access to high quality care;

  • Universal coverage will solve the cost problems of American health care.

The article is forthcoming in the Yale Journal of Health Policy, Law & Ethics.