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  • Side Effects: ER Overload Will Only Get Worse

    Remember how Obamacare was going to save big bucks and reduce wait time in emergency rooms? The idea was that millions of previously uninsured Americans accustomed to using ERs for basic medical treatment would snatch up Obamacare coverage and start getting primary care from regular (and cheaper) medical practices.

    Nice thought. But it doesn’t look like it’ll pan out.

    Indeed, notes Rick Dallam, it looks like “it’s going to be exactly the opposite over the next four to eight years.” In an article in The Hill, Dallam, a health care partner at a firm that designs health care facilities, notes: “We don’t have the primary care infrastructure in place in America to cover the need. Our clients are looking at and preparing for more emergency department volume, not less.”

    A big part of the problem: a growing shortage of primary care physicians. The American Academy of Family Physicians recently predicted that by 2020, the United States would have 40,000 fewer family physicians than needed. As the doc supply diminishes, it will be become increasingly more difficult to get a timely appointment. Inevitably, more and more folks will resort to emergency rooms to get the medical attention they want.

    But there is another, even bigger problem, rooted in the new law itself: Roughly half of the 34 million newly insured under Obamacare will get their coverage via Medicaid, a poorly performing welfare program. Medicaid reimbursement rates for physicians are so low that many doctors simply refuse to accept Medicaid patients. Based on previous experience, Medicaid expansion will not only “crowd out” private insurance, but will also swell the ranks of those getting routine, non-urgent care through hospital emergency rooms. The result: an even higher reliance on emergency room care among Medicaid beneficiaries than among the uninsured. What a mess.

    To expand coverage to more Americans without hindering access, Congress would have done better to change the current tax preference given to employer-sponsored insurance and to transform Medicaid into a premium support program, so low income persons could be mainstreamed into the private health insurance system that serves their fellow citizens.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to Side Effects: ER Overload Will Only Get Worse

    1. Billie says:

      As personal as health care is and the majority of Americans not wanting government running it and if congress really cared about freedom and power to the people of this country, government's direct focus would be to get people on their own two feet and in the mean time have a temporary government health care until they gain that strength of freedom to stand on their own two feet.

    2. Pingback: Heritage Foundation publishes video and timeline regarding the tragedies of Obamacare | Don't Like Obama

    3. threetoedpete. Katy, says:

      All good points. But what was the point of all of this ? To cover illegals ? the poor ? The gay infected with HIV ? No. it was to ration health care as it pertains to population control. The very wealthy, politically connected, and the very poor have nothing to worry about. If you're are an aging boomer or one of the ones paying 33% ever year in income tax, you're going to get it where the vet gives the critter the thermometer. You voted for it. Enjoy it !

    4. DennisA UK says:

      The next thing you get is targets. We have targets for how long emergency patients have to wait on admission before they see a doctor. My mother had to go to hospital recently and the ambulance crew were worried about being able to get in at the other end, because another ambulance had been cruising round the town for an hour with the patient still on board. Why? Because the target time doesn't start until the patient is signed into the hospital. So an ambulance crew and an ambulance tied up for an hour, a patient not being treated, just to meet targets set by government. There is a sign on the emergency room entrance, that ambulance crews must not "unload" their patient until they have cleared it with admission staff. We have jobs such as "waiting list co-ordinators" and we have waiting lists to get onto a waiting list.

    5. M.C. Fields, Chamber says:

      We keep hearing about all the money that will be saved by cutting out waste and fraud. If this a known fact, and I agree that there is much waste and fraud, why are we waiting to make this correction?

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