New Obamacare problem: overloaded emergency rooms

By Neal McNamara | May 22, 2014
Rural Hospitals

Obamacare is causing an increase in emergency room visits according to a new poll – yet another piece of unexpected fallout from Obama’s signature policy.

The American College of Emergency Physicians surveyed 1,800 emergency room doctors and found that half reported an increase in patients since Jan. 1.

Some highlights of the study show:

-9 percent of doctors reported the volume of emergency patients increased “greatly”

-37 percent of doctors reported the volume of emergency patients increased “slightly”

-77 percent of ERs are not adequately prepared for a significant increase in patients

-51 percent feel that Obamacare will reduce payments for ER visits

So why is Obamacare causing an increase in ER visits? According to ACEP spokesman Dr. Stephen Anderson, it’s because people who have medical coverage for the first time don’t have primary care doctors, so they go to the place where they’ve always gone for medical care: the ER.

Washington State has fared better than other states. Our load of ER visits has only increased by precisely three patients since Obamacare began.

Another problem with Obamacare the survey found is that it is forcing millions of people into the health care market, and there are not enough primary care doctors to handle such an increase. So, overflow patients will likely continue to go to ERs.

Further evidence that Obamacare is overloading emergency rooms is that the survey found that the number of Medicaid patients visiting ERs has increased by 31 percent. Some 41 percent of doctors surveyed feel that the number of patients coming to ERs for primary care will greatly increase over the next three years, further dooming hospitals under the boot of Obamacare.

“Access to insurance does not equal access to care,” Anderson told KIRO Radio reporter Tim Haeck.

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