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Will Obamacare Lead To Longer Wait Times At The Doctor’s Office?

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CBS Los Angeles (con't)

Affordable Care Act Updates: CBSLA.com/ACA

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Sweeping changes to the health care system are underway now that the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, is now law.

With hundreds of thousands of people added to the system, the inevitable question is what the impact will be at the doctor’s office.

CBS2’s Bobby Kaple spoke to one doctor who wonders if the system can handle so many new patients all at once.

“The biggest concern is whether or not we can handle the influx of new patients,” said Dr. Tri Dao, a family physician who works with a medical group in Burbank.

“They are going to see out primary care physicians for preventative services. Whether or not we can see everybody in a timely manner, that’s a big unknown,” says Dao.

On Thursday, CBS2 and KCAL9 radio partner KNX 1070 held an all-day public forum and town hall about Obamacare.

Herb Schultz, regional director of the Health and Human Services, was on the panel.

“So, do we need to train, educate and continue to grow our workforce like physicians? Absolutely,” Schultz said, “There is a huge investment in the Affordable Care Act. That is already helping in Los Angeles.”

While doctors are still unclear what the ACA will mean to their business, so too are many consumers.

Will health care reform drive their rates up? Or down?

Kaple spoke to Devin Leyva, a formerly uninsured man who has asthma. He says Obamacare is much more affordable for him.

“My costs range from about $100-200,” Leyva says, “that is about $200 cheaper than what I was going to pay before and that’s a huge thing for me, to be honest.”

With all the uncertainty surrounding the ACA, one thing is definite: You have to sign up by March 31st if you’re interested. Also, if you want coverage to start on January 1, 2014 you have to sign up by December 15.

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