According to a recent study of 600 physicians by Market Strategies International, a majority believes President Barack Obama's healthcare reform act will lead to worse financial standings for themselves and worsened patient care. Those with health and medicine degrees, such as a bachelors in nursing, also may be affected by the legislation, which is expected to be in full effect in 2014.
"Despite self-stated low levels of understanding of the specific provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, our study makes it clear that a majority of primary care physicians, pediatricians and specialists are pessimistic about the impact that certain elements of healthcare reform will have on their practices and its ability to help them meet or improve the care needs of their patients," said Susan McIntyre, senior vice president of the healthcare division at Market Strategies.
The study found six in 10 pediatricians and seven in 10 primary care physicians believe the act will cause a drop in the number of practicing doctors, and fewer PCPs will accept Medicare and Medicaid physicians after 2014.
Despite the evident pessimism about the bill, more than eight in 10 PCPs and pediatricians believe there are good parts of the reform that should remain in place.
There is much debate about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, with advocates who say it will allow for more access to insurance for those who previously have been unable to qualify for it or afford it. Opponents say the bill is too far-reaching and needs to be scaled back.
The U.S. Supreme Court will discuss the bill on March 26, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts presiding. The New York Times says the judge's decision will shape his legacy and could affect Obama's reelection campaign.
"Clashes like the one over the healthcare law come around only a few times in a century, and he may well complete his service without encountering another case posing such fundamental questions about the structure of American government," the newspaper said of the upcoming landmark decision.
While the Supreme Court hasn't ruled against such ambitious legislation since the 1930s, some legal experts believe the justices will vote along ideological lines, which would lead to a vote of 5 Republicans to 4 Democrats. The court's makeup marks the first since since at least 1953 that its five conservative members were appointed by Republican presidents and liberal members were named by Democrat presidents, the Times said.