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AP: Obama-Care Means Longer ER Waits

From a seemingly surprised Associated Press:

Health overhaul may mean longer ER waits, crowding

By Carla K. Johnson, AP Medical Writer

July 2, 2010

CHICAGO – Emergency rooms, the only choice for patients who can’t find care elsewhere, may grow even more crowded with longer wait times under the nation’s new health law.

That might come as a surprise to those who thought getting 32 million more people covered by health insurance would ease ER crowding.

It will certainly come as a surprise to the unfortunate readers who got their information about Mr. Obama’s ‘healthcare reform’ from the Associated Press. 

It would seem these patients would be able to get routine health care by visiting a doctor’s office, as most of the insured do.

But it’s not that simple. Consider:

There’s already a shortage of front-line family physicians in some places and experts think that will get worse.

Just as anyone who understood that healthcare was being ‘reformed’ on the back on doctor salaries would have foretold.

— People without insurance aren’t the ones filling up the nation’s emergency rooms. Far from it. The uninsured are no more likely to use ERs than people with private insurance, perhaps because they’re wary of huge bills.

Of course this is nonsense. A visit to an ER is far more expensive than a visit to a regular physician.

The biggest users of emergency rooms by far are Medicaid recipients. And the new health insurance law will increase their ranks by about 16 million

Again, anyone who read the legislation knew that Mr. Obama was going to ‘fix’ Medicaid by expanding Medicaid dramatically.

[E]xperts point to Massachusetts, the model for federal health overhaul where a 2006 law requires insurance for almost everyone. Reports from the state find ER visits continuing to rise since the law passed — contrary to hopes of its backers who reasoned that expanding coverage would give many people access to doctors offices.

Massachusetts reported a 7 percent increase in ER visits between 2005 and 2007. A more recent estimate drawn from Boston area hospitals showed an ER visit increase of 4 percent from 2006 to 2008

Crowding and long waits have plagued U.S. emergency departments for years. A 2009 report by the Government Accountability Office, Congress’ investigative arm, found ER patients who should have been seen immediately waited nearly a half-hour

Federal stimulus money and the new health law address the primary care shortage with training for 16,000 more providers, said Health and Human Services Department spokeswoman Jessica Santillo.

But many experts say solving ER crowding is more complicated

How is it possible that the collective wisdom of Mr. Obama and the Democrats in Congress have only made the problems’ ERs face worse?

Mr. Obama went to Harvard Law School? And Democrats like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have been politicians all their lives?

How could they not know everything that you need to know to fix our medical system.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, July 2nd, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

10 Responses to “AP: Obama-Care Means Longer ER Waits”

  1. proreason says:

    How could this be.

    Add 30 million people, all of whom are now “first in line”, and the lines will increase. Who could have imagined such an outcome?

    What next? Long waits to see a doctor? Long waits for procedures? Long waits for tests?

    Certainly not. Our little boy genius won’t allow it.

    He will dictate that the waits be shortened.

    • AcornsRNutz says:

      “He will dictate that the waits be shortened.”

      Sadly, this is not hyperbole.

  2. proreason says:

    Mental exercise:

    Think of all of the things in life that work really well. Don’t think about it politically or morally, just itemize products and systems that make life better and operate with few defects. You might include things like: TV/cable, personal computers, automobiles, Walmart and Target, grocery stores, cell phones, air conditioning, agriculture, etc.

    Second, think about the impact that government has had on those things. From my list:
    – TV/cable – no government impact
    – personal computers – no government impact
    – automobiles – maybe government improved safety, but more likely Ralph Nadar did that
    – Walmart – no government impact
    – grocery stores – no government impact
    – cell phones – no government impact
    – air conditioning – no government impact
    – agriculture – any impact the government has had has been bad

    Third, think about the things that government has responsibility for that might be candidates for the “works really well list”. Take your time.

    Could you think of any? Personally, I think the interstate highway system is a good thing (except when they are taking 6 months to fix a pothole). That’s one anyway. Some might include the military as well.

    Fourth, think about the things that government has responsibility for that are disasters. You might include Fannie Mae, Stock Market regulation, Welfare, the Gulf Coast oil cleanup, Medicaid, political corruption, unemployment, the drivers license bureau, public education, energy policy. Limit your time in this category so that you have time to do something else today.

    Fifth, given what you have discovered about government in this mental exercise and the enormous cost vs disastrous consequences of everything government does, ask yourself why you would want government doing ANYTHING in your life, other than overseeing the military and protecting our borders.

    Sixth, think about how it is possible that, despite the overwhelming incompetance of the government, we still have an incredibly corrupt and rich group of criminals DEMANDING that the government’s control over every aspect of your life be ABSOLUTE. (Hint: it may have something to do with one or more forms of bribery. They do control 3 trillion dollars of our money, after all.)

    Finally, think about what YOU are going to do to rid your life of this cancer.

    Then DO IT.

    • Petronius says:

      Items for pro’s category #3, list of things the government does really well.

      I could think of only one –– NASA’s space program before Nerobama wrecked it.

      (And recognizing of course that NASA uses private sector technology.)

  3. bousquem says:

    Wow, Medicaid people are the most frequent users of ER services, not a big shock. I guess when you don’t actually have to pay a copay when using the ER, one is willing to bring the whole clan and posse down because one person has a sniffle or someone wants some tylenol but doesn’t want to pay for it at the pharmacy. Therefore they’ll get a script and its free under medicaid at the pharmacy.

  4. pamypo says:

    “We have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it.” Now we see and I think we are not liking what we are seeing!

  5. merkelerk says:

    “A 2009 report by the Government Accountability Office, Congress’ investigative arm, found ER patients who should have been seen immediately waited nearly a half-hour…”

    Here in Ontario Canada, our wonderful Premier Dalton McGuinty has promised to implement changes that would bring our ER wait times down to a reasonable 12 hours.

    Yes, you read that correctly, the government of Ontario feels that wait times in emergency rooms that average 16 hours is just unacceptable. A 12 hour wait time is what Ontario deserves and needs.

    12 hours to see a doctor in a hospital emergency room, 4 to 6 months to get an MRI, 12 to 16 months for simple surgeries and all that this wonderful FREE health care costs me is about $25,000 off of my annual income.

    Welcome to socialized medicine, this won’t hurt a bit but you might experience some slight discomfort.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      merkelerk, you’re the first Canadian I’ve seen who spoke the truth. I have other Canadian friends on discussion boards and they are fiercely loyal to the socialized healthcare system you have.

      Of course, our own “news” agencies no longer do any real investigative reporting, unless it’s about a republican who didn’t pay a traffic ticket some 20 years ago. But my mom was in the healthcare industry in Connecticut for years, working for an orthopedic surgeon and she says she saw a great many Canadians come through the door needing procedures done that would take ages to get to in Canada. Usually hip replacement surgery.

      Yet, here in the US, the uninformed public sees it from a “health and welfare” standpoint, where the government, as currently devised, sees it as a “wealth and income” prospect and a reason to justify exorbitant taxes that they can use for office buildings, free travel and parties. After all, they are the “best and the brightest’ this nation has to offer. (gag)

      But thanks for your statement, merk. If only more would speak up.

    • proreason says:

      What’s the problem?

      It’s “fair”, isn’t it? Sainted commissars, of course, are permitted to make their own arrangements. If not, their brains wouldn’t be clear enough to decide how many calories we are allowed to eat.

      And if a few hundred, or thousand, or a hundred thousand people die….it’s still worth it to be “fair”.

      Because even death is better than somebody else getting something better than what you’ve got.

      At least, that’s what I understand to be the most important thing in life.

      Straight from the marxist intellectuals who make the decisions for us peons.

  6. Liberals Demise says:

    Did anyone bother to ask the illegals who swamp the ER’s what this impact will mean to them?

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