Special to CNN
When President Obama recently cited the number of Americans without health insurance, he declared that, "We are not a nation that accepts nearly 46 million uninsured men, women, and children."
Uninsured patients often delay preventive care, waiting to seek medical attention only when their conditions worsen. This leads to more intensive treatment, often in the emergency department or hospital where costs run the highest.
Universal health coverage is therefore a sensible goal, and the reforms being considered all make considerable effort to provide everyone with affordable health care.
But expanding coverage cannot succeed as long as there remains a shortage of primary care clinicians.
After all, what good is having health insurance if you can't find a doctor to see you?
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