Filed under: Economy, Health Care, Law, Statism | Tags: Liberal lies, Obamacare, Politics
Now that ObamaCare the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is law, will the uninsured really stop going to the emergency room for their basic health care? A basic assumption about ObamaCare is that once people have insurance, they will stop going to the emergency room and make appointments with their doctors instead.
According to Stanley Goldfarb writing in the Weekly Standard, there are several assumptions involved here.
- Insurance payments to primary care physicians will change the habits of those accustomed to using the emergency room for care.
- There will be enough primary care physicians available to take on these new patients.
- The provision of insurance will reduce subsequent hospitalizations and emergency room visits by the previously uninsured.
- The cost for the care of these patients will decline and “the cost curve will be bent downward.”
All of these assumptions are wrong. Yale University researchers studied emergency room use in New Haven, Conn. and found that there was no difference in subsequent visits to emergency departments nor in the number of inpatient admissions. Primary care physicians are not available 24/7 and patients knew the emergency room would be open. In Massachusetts, in spite of requiring insurance for everyone, emergency room use went up, not down.
It takes 17 years from the decision to increase the physician workforce to actually get more doctors in a community. Thirty-two million newly insured will need a lot of doctors, and we don’t know how many will follow through in their plans to quit medicine. New facilities must be built, students recruited, and physicians trained. It all takes time.
Certainly all those folks with financial resources who are uninsured will be happy to pay for their health insurance rather than pay the much smaller financial penalty for not having insurance. Won’t they?
They wouldn’t try to sell us a bill of goods, would they? Surely they are sincere. They wouldn’t lie to the American people about something so important. Would they?
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