What kind of doctor do you want?

My father was the first-born son of a (legal) immigrant who came to work in the U.S. exactly 100 years ago. My grandfather soon became a proud member and then organizer of the United Mine Workers Union. (A union that accomplished real good, and corrected real grievances. In stark contrast to most of  today’s desk-job bureaucratic public employee  unions.) My father always encouraged me to go into the field of medicine. Mainly because he was fascinated by human biology and medical science. And also because it was an opportunity to accomplish real good for a lot of people. But my father also believed that one of the “perks” of  being a doctor was that you never had to be somebody else’s employee—let alone a government worker.  

Unfortunately, that’s all changing, thanks to the President’s so-called “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”

But it’s not just doctors who will suffer because of this legislation. Because regardless of whether or not it’s “affordable,” medical care may very well become increasingly difficult to get.

Just two weeks ago, I read a sobering article in The New York Times issuing a warning about the looming shortage of doctors, and how Obamacare could affect it.

In many areas of the U.S., there are already too few physicians to “go around.” The new health care law increases demand for physicians by expanding insurance coverage. This change will exacerbate the current shortage.

The mounting pressure—and workload—Obamacare will place on physicians has led over 80 percent of our nation’s doctors to consider quitting the practice of medicine altogether according to one recent survey.

But even if doctors don’t quit their jobs over Obamacare, according to the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC), America will face a shortage of at least 90,000 doctors by 2020. By 2025 the shortage will balloon to over 130,000. 

Believe it or not, the American Medical Association (which currently represents about 40 percent of the country’s physicians), endorsed the President’s health care overhaul. Yet, many doctors don’t actually believe the Obama “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” will lead to better access to medical care for the majority of Americans. Because doctors understand something Washington, D.C., does not. That just because a piece of paper says you are “covered” by insurance or “enrolled” in Medicare or Medicaid does not translate to actual medical care. Let alone quality medical care.

Is that the kind of doctor you want? Stretched too thin? Under constant scrutiny by the government and the insurance industry? Forced to prescribe (or to withhold) their mandated therapies and protocols, instead of what’s actually best for you, as an individual?  

I didn’t think so.

The good news is that you DO still have access to doctors and health professionals who aren’t being turned into government lackeys. Who aren’t bound by insurance company red tape. And who will treat you as a person, not a number.

And these are just a few of the benefits of choosing complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) over mainstream care whenever appropriate.

For a list of CAM practitioners in your area, contact the American College for Advancement in Medicine at (800)532-3688 or www.acam.org.