Radiologist Eric Schnipper told CNBC's "Street Signs" that the major problem facing American healthcare is simple supply and demand economics. This is not just a Veterans Affairs (VA) issue, "every state is forecasting a physician shortage" according Dr. Schnipper who is co-founder of Emergency Coalition to Save Cancer Imaging. The VA is struggling to keep up with the demand due to the increase of veterans that have entered the system because of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Couple that with the aging populations of veterans from earlier wars and you have a significant issue. The delays at the VA which led to dozens of deaths has brought this to light.
Enrollment at medical schools has been stagnant, Dr. Schnipper stated "We're getting sicker and we're getting older … and yet the physician staffing has not increased." Even with healthcare extended to millions of Americans, there is fear that due to low reimbursement rates, many physicians won't accept Medicare and Medicaid patients.