Primary care shortage blocks healthcare reform

By the year 2020, the nation will need 140,000 family physicians--a 40 percent increase over what was needed two years ago--according to the American Academy of Family Physician's 2006 Physician Workforce Report. So what's the big deal? The Wall Street Journal's Dr. Benjamin Brewer argues that with the number of new family doctors decreasing in recent years, this issue needs to be addressed before the country can even begin to consider universal healthcare. "To me, universal coverage looks like an empty promise," Brewer says. "Just nationalizing health insurance by declaring Medicare for all isn't going to get the job done."

To learn more about universal and primary healthcare:
- read Dr. Brewer's column in The Wall Street Journal
- check out the AAFP's 2006 Physician Workforce Report (.pdf)