Sunday, May 16, 2010

Don't expect Obamacare to cut down reliance on emergency room usage

Remember how one of the arguments in favor of Obamacare was that it would cut down on people's reliance on emergency rooms for their primary care? Well, never mind. Now, the Democrats are admitting that, well, that is not likely to happen. In fact, we can, as critics predicted, expect to see a big jump in people going to emergency rooms which will grow more crowded and inadequate to help people.
People who build hospitals, however, say newly insured people will still go to emergency rooms for primary care because they don’t have a doctor.

“Everybody expected that one of the initial impacts of reform would be less pressure on emergency departments; it’s going to be exactly the opposite over the next four to eight years,” said Rich Dallam, a healthcare partner at the architectural firm NBBJ, which designs healthcare facilities.

“We don’t have the primary care infrastructure in place in America to cover the need. Our clients are looking at and preparing for more emergency department volume, not less,” he said.
Even some of Obamacare's biggest supporters, now that the thing has passed, are admitting that this will happen.
Some Democrats agree with this assessment.

Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) suspects the fallout that occurred in Massachusetts’ emergency rooms could happen nationwide after health reform kicks in.

Massachusetts in 2006 created near-universal coverage for residents, which was supposed to ease the traffic in hospital emergency rooms.

But a recent poll by the American College of Emergency Physicians found that nearly two-thirds of the state’s residents say emergency department wait times have either increased or remained the same.

A February 2010 report by The Council of State Governments found that wait times had not abated since the law took effect.

“That is not an unrealistic question about what’s going to happen in the next four years as you bring all these people on; who are they going to see?” McDermott said.
Amazing how we keep finding out that the criticisms people had of the health care law are actually, you know, coming true.

Of course, none of these Democrats who voted for the law would ever admit that their law was flawed or that their vote was a mistake, would they?