Obamacare may end up encouraging more emergency room visits – IOTW Report

Obamacare may end up encouraging more emergency room visits

medical ambitions


If Obamacare tells you the sky is blue, just assume that it’s orange and don’t ask any questions.

Opening 2014 the same way 2013 ended — with a debunked guarantee of the healthcare law — a study of patients in Oregon has found that Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion actually might not persuade the newly insured to seek care outside the emergency room. The government has argued that insuring more Americans through the healthcare law would encourage covered individuals to seek primary care, instead.

“When you cover the uninsured, emergency room use goes up by a large magnitude,” Amy Finkelstein, the Ford Professor of Economics at MIT and one of the study’s principal investigators, said.

Finkelstein and Harvard University’s Katherine Baicker examined emergency room records for about 25,000 Oregonians subsequent to the state’s own Medicaid expansion five years ago, and found that the new Medicaid enrollees visited the ER 40 percent more than the uninsured. So all of that talk about increased coverage under the healthcare law automatically curing the problem of overcrowded emergency rooms and costs? Not so much, considering that Medicaid expansion has been one of Obamacare’s ‘success’ stories — nearly twice as many individuals are newly eligible for Medicaid under the law than have actually enrolled on the exchange, according to the administration’s numbers.

The report, which was published Thursday in the journal Science, has major statistics implications from a couple of angles. One, the findings hold “across a range of demographic groups,” a press release accompanying the study noted, making them easier to tie to Medicaid expansion under Obamacare.

“In no case were we able to find any subpopulations, or type of conditions, for which Medicaid caused a significant decrease in emergency department use,” Finkelstein said. “Although one always needs to be careful generalizing to other settings, these results suggest that other Medicaid expansions are unlikely to decrease emergency room use.”  MORE


8 Comments on Obamacare may end up encouraging more emergency room visits

  1. My husband and I were both in military medicine (he’s an MD and I am a nurse practitioner). Back in the 70s the Army decided to try something new and placed a nominal charge on non-emergency ER visits. The number of visits went up about 25% because people felt since they were paying for it, they deserved to go. It was dropped quite quickly.

  2. “…Avik Roy observes that more and more doctors have stopped receiving new Medicaid patients as they receive less and less compensation from state governments for treating them. That makes finding a primary care physician a tough task for a Medicaid patient; so between spending countless hours trying to track one down or just walking into the emergency room for the same price, why not just do the latter?…”

    So predictable. Just another example in a LOOOOONG string of examples, of the unintended consequences of liberal social policies.

    Hey libtards, do this country a favor, and stay the f*ck out of our lives!!!

  3. Oh and also, you hospital associations, you thought free ER service expenses would decrease? HA!! You’re getting what you deserve for jumping in bed with the government.

    When will they ever learn?

  4. The only way I’d go to an emergency room is in an ambulance. I know first hand what goes on in the one here. They don’t come in by themselves – the whole clan is with them. They come in with ailments they can easily take care of themselves at home, but hell they aren’t paying for it. WTF!

  5. Before mid-terms the voters should ask themselves who was right about how this law would turn out and who was wrong. Only the mentally feeble will choose to lean forward over the cliff of disaster with those who were wrong.

  6. When you reward bad behavior, you get more of it.
    God forbid medicaid would just put into place a measure such as kicking said patient off as a penalty to thwart the idiots from abusing emergency room care.

    Typical of the progressive trash, feel good laws turn into nightmare scenarios fro the rest of us.

  7. “Only the mentally feeble will choose to lean forward over the cliff of disaster with those who were wrong.”

    Problem is the fact that 51+% of the population is apparently mentally feeble

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