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Dramatic physician shortages on healthcare horizon

Tulsa World, July 8, 2013

The physician shortage in Oklahoma—one of the worst in the country—is indeed severe, and in fact was a concern long before the Affordable Care Act came to be. But eliminating the possibility for many Americans to obtain insurance isn't an appropriate response to the doctor shortage. According to a recent Associated Press report, about 20 percent of Americans already live in an area that is experiencing a shortage of primary-care physicians. There are about 250,000 primary-care doctors in practice across the country now. Industry experts expect the shortage of these providers to grow to about 30,000 in two years, and to about 66,000 in a decade or so.