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Primary care panel is stalled

The U.S. is currently facing a shortage of primary care doctors, and with baby boomers hitting retirement age and the Affordable Care Act expanding coverage to 32 million Americans, experts expect the problem to get worse. The Affordable Care Act created a National Healthcare Workforce Commission to help deal with the problem– making sure that there are enough doctors in the right specialties, in the right locations, who are well-trained.

But, The Washington Post reports, the commission hasn’t been able to begin its work because Republicans, who control the House, oppose it.  The commission needs only $3 million to get started, but Republicans have refused to fund anything related to the Affordable Care Act. The Post notes:

Proponents of the workforce commission say they were surprised that Republicans have balked, because there has, in the past, been little ideological schism over the need to bolster the supply of primary care — doctors, nurses, physicians assistants and others.

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