Health and Science

VA scandal tells bigger health-care story: Doctor

Physician staffing issue

The scandal at the Department of Veterans Affairs tells a bigger story about health care that could affect everyday Americans, radiologist Eric Schnipper told CNBC's "Street Signs" Monday.

Part of the problem at the VA, which has for allegedly covering up treatment delays and poor patient care, has to do with supply and demand, he said.

"You've had a great increase in the amount of veterans that have entered into the system because of Afghanistan, Iraq, and then the aging of veterans from wars from previous decades … yet, they have not given a corresponding increase in internists and other physicians to make up for that."

Read MoreEmbattled VA chief testifies before Senate

However, it's not just the VA that has that problem, said Schnipper, co-founder of Emergency Coalition to Save Cancer Imaging.

"Every state is forecasting a physician shortage," he said.

The population is aging and growing, thanks to births outpacing deaths and immigration. Medical schools have also not increased the amount of graduates, Schnipper said.

"We're getting sicker and we're getting older … and yet the physician staffing has not increased."

Although millions of Americans have signed up for health coverage under Obamacare, he thinks many doctors will refuse to treat those covered by it, as well as Medicare and Medicaid, because of poor reimbursement rates.

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Death & Dishonor: Crisis at the VA

Meanwhile, the fallout continues over the allegations at the VA, with White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough saying President Barack Obama is "madder than hell" about the alleged deadly delays. A top official and Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki defended himself and the agency during his testimony before the Senate last week.

"VA provides safe, effective health care, equal to or exceeding the industry standard in many areas. We care deeply for every veteran we have the privilege to serve," Shinseki said in prepared statements. "VA is committed to operating with unmatched transparency and fostering an environment that reports and evaluates errors in order to avoid repeating them in the future; one of our most important priorities is to keep our patients safe in our facilities.

Read MoreBig mess at the VA: Calls grow for chief to quit

CNBC first reported on issues within the VA Healthcare System last August, culminating in a documentary "Death & Dishonor: Crisis at the VA" that was released last year.

—By CNBC's Michelle Fox. CNBC's Dina Gusovsky and Reuters contributed to this report.