American Elephants


Myths and Fables of Emergency Room Treatment by The Elephant's Child
September 22, 2013, 9:48 pm
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Economy, Health Care, Taxes | Tags: , ,

This is a post from the archives, March 18, 2010. Seemed to go with the last post.

One of the prevalent myths out there is that the uninsured use emergency rooms for primary health care.  Once they have their own health insurance, they will have regular doctors.  Better care, costs will decline.  Unfortunately, it simply is not true.

Robert Samuelson writes in The Washington Post about “Obama’s illusions of cost control.”

One job of presidents is to educate Americans about crucial national problems. On health care, Barack Obama has failed. Almost everything you think you know about health care is probably wrong or, at least, half wrong. Great simplicities and distortions have been peddled in the name of achieving “universal health coverage.” The miseducation has worsened as the debate approaches its climax.

A study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that the insured accounted for 83 percent of emergency-room visits, reflecting their share of the population. After Massachusetts adopted universal insurance, emergency-room use remained higher than the national average, an Urban Institute study found. More than two-fifths of visits represented non-emergencies. Of those, a majority of adult respondents to a survey said it was “more convenient” to go to the emergency room or they couldn’t “get [a doctor’s] appointment as soon as needed.” If universal coverage makes appointments harder to get, emergency-room use may increase.

Insuring the uninsured does not dramatically improve the nation’s health.  It results, according to the literature in modest health gains.  Claims that the uninsured suffer tens of thousands of premature deaths are open to question.

Obama based much of his Ohio health care speech on a woman who dropped her health insurance because of the cost.  She was then diagnosed with leukemia. Obama made much of her fear of an inability to find treatment and her fear that she would lose her home.  Yet she had already been accepted as a patient at the Cleveland Clinic, one of the great Medical Centers, and she was in no danger of losing her home and would get some of the finest care available.

Mr. Samuelson includes the following quotation:

“What we need from the next president is somebody who will not just tell you what they think you want to hear but will tell you what you need to hear.”

– Barack Obama, Feb. 27, 2008



Those Unexpected Consequences Keep Turning Up and Spoiling Things! by The Elephant's Child
May 19, 2011, 8:40 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Health Care | Tags: , ,

Emergency rooms are expensive. One of the big promises to be found in ObamaCare is that “once everyone has insurance, emergency rooms will no longer be overcrowded, and we will save money on health care.’  Hospital emergency rooms get overcrowded, according to the theory, because people without health insurance have no place else to go.

A new survey from the American College of Emergency Physicians says the real problem isn’t caused by people who don’t have insurance — it’s caused by people who do, but who cannot find a doctor who will treat them.

Ninety-seven percent of ER doctors who responded to the survey said they treat patients daily who have Medicaid (the federal-state program for low income people) but cannot find a doctor who will accept their insurance.  This confirms the experience of Massachusetts, where visits to emergency rooms increased in spite of health care reform, and medical insurance does not guarantee access to medical care.

There is already a national shortage of around 45,000 primary care doctors, which is expected to increase to over 150,000. Medical schools and teaching hospitals are not prepared to handle increasingly big numbers potential doctors. Many physicians are expected to retire early when ObamaCare takes effect, and students are looking to other careers instead. Medicine is no longer so attractive.

Massachusetts example believed that by expanding insurance coverage they would reduce the number of emergency room visits.  Instead visits rose 9 percent between 2004 and 2008.  John Goodman, of the National Center for Policy Analysis and a leading health care analyst, estimated that due to the law’s coverage expansion we can expect somewhere between 848,000 to 900,000 additional emergency room visits each year, and cost more than a trillion dollars over the next decade.

For that we’ll get longer wait times for appointments, more crowded emergency rooms — and no guarantee of access to care.



Myths and Fables of Emergency Room Treatment. by The Elephant's Child

One of the prevalent myths out there is that the uninsured use emergency rooms for primary health care.  Once they have their own health insurance, they will have regular doctors.  Better care, costs will decline.  Unfortunately, it simply is not true.

Robert Samuelson writes in The Washington Post about “Obama’s illusions of cost control.”

One job of presidents is to educate Americans about crucial national problems. On health care, Barack Obama has failed. Almost everything you think you know about health care is probably wrong or, at least, half wrong. Great simplicities and distortions have been peddled in the name of achieving “universal health coverage.” The miseducation has worsened as the debate approaches its climax.

A study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that the insured accounted for 83 percent of emergency-room visits, reflecting their share of the population. After Massachusetts adopted universal insurance, emergency-room use remained higher than the national average, an Urban Institute study found. More than two-fifths of visits represented non-emergencies. Of those, a majority of adult respondents to a survey said it was “more convenient” to go to the emergency room or they couldn’t “get [a doctor’s] appointment as soon as needed.” If universal coverage makes appointments harder to get, emergency-room use may increase.

Insuring the uninsured does not dramatically improve the nation’s health.  It results, according to the literature in modest health gains.  Claims that the uninsured suffer tens of thousands of premature deaths are open to question.

Obama based much of his Ohio health care speech on a woman who dropped her health insurance because of the cost.  She was then diagnosed with leukemia. Obama made much of her fear of an inability to find treatment and her fear that she would lose her home.  Yet she had already been accepted as a patient at the Cleveland Clinic, one of the great Medical Centers, and she was in no danger of losing her home and would get some of the finest care available.

Mr. Samuelson includes the following quotation:

“What we need from the next president is somebody who will not just tell you what they think you want to hear but will tell you what you need to hear.”

— Barack Obama, Feb. 27, 2008




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