An extensive survey of 20,000 American physicians asked the doctors to grade the Affordable Care Act, and nearly half of them gave the law an F or D.
In the 2014 Survey of America’s Physicians conducted on behalf of The Physicians Foundation, 24.7 percent of respondents gave Obamacare an F, and 21.1 percent gave it a D, for a total of 45.8 percent grading it poorly. Just 3.7 thought it deserved an A grade, while 21.7 percent gave it a B and 28.8 percent a C.
Older doctors gave the ACA lower grades than younger physicians. Among doctors age 46 and over, 50.8 percent gave Obamacare an F or D, including 24.7 percent who gave it an F, while 37 percent of those 45 or younger gave it an F or D.
Female doctors were more supportive of Obamacare than male physicians. Just 17.6 percent of female doctors gave the ACA an F, compared to 28.2 percent of their male counterparts. Still, just 4.1 percent of the female respondents graded it with an A.
Doctors who own their own practices were more displeased with Obamacare than those who are employed by a medical service — 34 percent of owners gave it an F compared to 19.8 percent of the employed doctors. A paltry 1.8 percent of owners gave it an A.
Slightly more than 30 percent of primary care physicians gave the ACA an A or B, while 22.4 percent of specialists rated it that highly. Among the specialists, 26.9 percent gave Obamacare an F, as did 20.5 percent of primary care physicians.
Jeffrey A. Singer, who practices general surgery in Arizona and is an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute, says a major reason that Obamacare is unpopular with many doctors is that it has disrupted patients’ relationships with their physicians.
Many of his patients saw their insurance plans canceled because they didn’t meet Obamacare’s minimum requirements, and they had to move into new plans that did not include Singer in their network.
Some patients were moved from private plans into Medicaid, which Singer accepts, but he has found it difficult to coordinate with other physicians because so many of them do not accept Medicaid patients, Singer laments in an article that first appeared in The Hill.
He also cites the “deluge” of paperwork and reporting requirements under the healthcare reform law.
These are among the reasons that “doctors disapprove of Obamacare by nearly a 2-1 margin,” he writes. “Until the law stops failing our patients, we won’t stop giving it a failing grade.”
Other pertinent findings of the Physicians Foundation survey include:
Physicians now spend 20 percent of their time on non-clinical paperwork.
81 percent describe themselves as overextended or at full capacity.
72 percent believe there is a physician shortage.
29 percent would not choose medicine if they had their careers to do over, but 50 percent would recommend medicine as a career to their children or other young people.
25 percent of doctors do not see Medicare patients or limit the number of Medicare patients they see, while 38 percent deal with Medicaid patients that way.
39 percent of physicians say they will accelerate their retirement plans due to changes in the healthcare system.