In light of the shortage of healthcare professionals the Obama administration is sending out mystery shoppers to test how often a patient is turned down and how much it has to do with their type of insurance. The survey will focus on primary care practitioners including family practitioners and specialists in internal medicine. The general plan is to have mystery shoppers in nine states call and make appointments while posing as a new patient. First the mystery shoppers will pretend to be someone with private insurance, then later will call the same location as someone who supposedly has public insurance like Medicare or Medicaid. The Obama Administration says that it is trying to see how often patients with public insurance, which pays lower reimbursement rates, are being turned down in comparison to those with private insurance. This survey was spurred by the healthcare bill that passed last year which will give 30 million more Americans health coverage. The New York Times quotes the Department of Health and Human Services as saying, “These newly insured Americans will need to seek out new primary care physicians, further exacerbating the already growing problem” of physician shortage. As always there is criticism to the Obama Administration’s plans. Many descriptive words used to report on this issue include “snooping”, “spying”, and “Big Brother.” Physicians interviewed by the New York Times had a strong opinion on the topic. An internist in Washington named Dr. Raymond Scalettar said, “I don’t like the idea of the government snooping. It’s a pernicious practice – Big Brother tactics, which should be opposed.” Likewise, a family doctor in New Jersey named Dr. George J. Petruncio commented, “This is not a way to build trust in government. Why should I trust someone who does not correctly identify himself?”, and Dr. Robert L. Hogue, a family practitioner from Texas asked a good question — “Is this a good use of tax money? Probably not. Everybody with a brain knows we do not have enough doctors.” Though not an impressive sum, federal officials admitted that the survey would cost about $347,370, of which the doctors retorted could be better used in funding their education costs. The question is do we need more information on this topic? Is it worth the costs? The Los Angeles Times reported that a similar study has been done on a much smaller scale at University of Pennsylvania. Researchers had posed as mothers trying to make appointments in Illinois for their children while pretending to have either public or private insurance. They found that two-thirds of the clinics in Cook County would not accept new patients on public insurance whereas only 11% of privately insured patients were denied.