08.23.2018 0

NYU attempts to solve doctor problem Obamacare helped create

C/O Legal Insurrection

By Natalia Castro

More big government policies should not be the answer to problems created by big government. Yet that is exactly what New York University is trying to do. The New York University (NYU) School of Medicine announced last week that it would offer a full tuition scholarship to all students in the medical school regardless of merit or need. While the goal of the program is to produce more doctors; instead, this program will only raise costs for everyone while failing to address the underlying problems within our health care system.

The United States desperately needs more doctors.

An April 2018 report from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) predicts a shortage of between 14,800 and 49,300 primary care physicians by 2030. At the same time, the AAMC predicts a shortage of between 33,800 and 72,700 specialty doctors.

This shortage is caused in large part by the Affordable Care Act, which increased demand for physicians while burying them in paperwork and regulations.

A series of studies reported on through Investor Business Daily found, 54 percent of doctors claim they are “suffering burnout,” 83 percent of doctors were thinking about quitting, and 40 percent said they would retire or seek other work because of Obamacare.

Clearly, the U.S. needs more doctors, but free tuition is not a good plan to make that happen.

NYU Med students pay an average $55,018 in tuition each year. The free tuition plan is expected to cost the school $600 million to fund. While the school hopes the generosity of donors will cover the cost, more than likely, other NYU students will be hit with the bill.

A January 2017 George Mason University Mercatus Center study found that increases in loan and grant programs within universities create artificial demand, largely resulting in greater tuition increases and produce little benefit to enrollment numbers. Similarly, in February of 2018, the Heartland Institute merged 25 studies on tuition costs and student aid to find that subsidizing college tuition raises prices for all students as universities raise tuition across the board. Flooding labor markets with these degrees in turn makes them less useful.

The NYU program will be costly and ineffective in producing more doctors.

Even worse, the free tuition for future students and student loan repayment for current students comes with no strings attached. So, a student does not even have to practice medicine in order to receive the benefits.

This is important considering a Mayo Clinic study cited in the aforementioned Investors Business Daily notes, “nearly one in five doctors plan to switch to part-time clinical hours, 27 percent plan to leave their current practice, and 9 percent plan to get an administrative job or switch careers entirely.” This has significantly exacerbated the doctor shortage.

It was the big government policies of the Obama administration that caused the doctor shortage we are dealing with today. If schools like NYU want to do their part, they should help encourage the rollback of Obamacare rather than attempting to put a band-aid on the problem. The free tuition myth will increase costs for other students while failing to help Americans still struggling with the impact of Obamacare.

Natalia Castro is the Public Outreach Coordinator for Americans for Limited Government.

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