More than half of all doctors are now working for hospitals. When doctors quit their private practices and start working for hospitals, they reduce the number of hours they work. (Forty-hour work weeks and golf on the weekends replaces 50 and 60 hour work weeks.) Since they have a guaranteed income, they also become less productive. These changes add up to one big problem: we are about to see a huge increase in the demand for care and a major decrease in the supply. In any other market, that would cause prices to soar. But government plans to control costs (even more than in the past) by vigorously suppressing provider fees, and the private insurers are likely to resist fee increases as well.
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