And quotes Milton Friedman along the way:
An economist can understand that physicians refuse to treat Medicaid patients at low fees when the opportunity cost of doing so is treating patients at higher fees. But what is to be done for the patients whom close to 50 percent of California primary care physicians refuse to treat?
What if independently practicing nurse practitioners were willing to see Medicaid patients at Medicaid’s fees for the range of primary care services for which nurse practitioners are educated and trained? Would the California Medical Association contend that for patients whom physicians refuse to serve, the next best option is no care at all? Or that properly educated and trained nurse practitioners could render such care, as is done in 17 other states (see, for example, evidence from New York). (More)