What ObamaCare? Emergency Room Visits Are Increasing

Emergency Room hospital sign
Emergency Room hospital sign

One of President Obama’s justifications for passing the “Affordable Care Act” in 2010 was to create a system where individuals would have coverage to go see a primary care doctor for preventative care, rather than over-crowding the emergency room for routine medical care.

But, as with almost all government intervention, the intentions of the law were not what the American people got.

The Washington Examiner reports:

Too many Americans get care in emergency rooms instead of doctors offices — and expanded health coverage is making the problem worse rather than fixing it.

Three in four emergency room doctors said patient visits have increased since the Affordable Care Act’s requirement to have health insurance went into effect, in an email survey released Monday by the American College of Emergency Physicians.

How could this be?

… instead of pulling back on emergency room care, the newly insured now have a plan to pay for those visits so they’re not responsible for the entire bill. And that seems to be driving the change in patient load, at least for now.

“There are these two competing stories,” said Baicker, who had a study published last year finding that when Oregon expanded Medicaid, the newly insured visited the emergency room more than the uninsured.

“People could go less because they can visit a primary care doctor, or they could go more because the emergency department is now more affordable,” she said.