Kim Bullock, MD, an emergency department physician who works in Washington, D.C., hospitals in both high- and low-income areas, says she's concerned about what will happen to various factions after the high court decision.
"Now there is either bridge-building by the different factions, or continued polarization," she says. "Bridges must be made within the profession, just as among the populace. The landmark legislation has generated strong opinions, and I do believe that was part of the intent by the authors. Finding consensus will make it easier for physicians to negotiate the changes in the details associated with the law."
The American Medical Association, which supported healthcare reform, also endorsed the Supreme Court decision. They especially favored the individual mandate provision, which will open the door for millions to obtain insurance coverage.
But many physicians don't believe doctors will be in a financial position to handle more patients, noting current shortages of primary care physicians and regular overflows in emergency departments. Moreover, many doctors don't believe the law can attain its insurance coverage goal. A survey of primary care physicians conducted by MDLinx immediately after the high court's decision found that 64% said they didn't think it would achieve the law's objective of 100% coverage of all Americans.