2 studies published today in the Journal Science
confirm preliminary findings of the landmark Oregon
Health Insurance Experiment
You may recall that one of the primary reasons offered in support of Obamacare was that uninsured people, who use the ER as a default primary care
health service, would be more likely to go to regular doctors and clinics for their primary, non-urgent, care if insurance was more widely
The OHIE studied the usage of emergency rooms, among other things, following an increase of health insurance coverage through Medicaid.
The Oregon Health Insurance Experiment is a landmark, randomized study of the effect of expanding public health insurance on the health care use,
health outcomes, financial strain, and well-being of low-income adults.
We supplemented these data with emergency department records for an 18-month period following the lottery.
Emergency department visits overall ◦Medicaid increased the probability of using the emergency department by 7 percentage points (an increase
of about 20 percent, relative to a base of 34.5 percent).
◦Medicaid increased the number of emergency department visits over the 18-month period by about 40 percent (0.41 visits, relative to a
base of 1.02).
The implications, as set out in the Science
articles, is that healthcare costs will likely increase significantly due to increased usage of ERs
for non-urgent care under Obamacare!
Medicaid Increases Emergency-Department Use: Evidence from Oregon's Health
Straining Emergency Rooms by Expanding Health Insurance
Who would've guessed that another of the lies used to "sell" Obamacare will result in increased usage and costs, rather than reductions? So now, even
if you've lost your policy, your primary care physician and specialistsa, you can still rely on the good old Emergency Room, and have the taxpayers
pick up the tab!
This was expertly spelled-out in Slate
today by an author whose spouse is a primary care Dr. who makes frequent ER referrals to her
Does Expanding Health Care Coverage Reduce ER Visits?
On the contrary: A new study suggests it increases visits to the emergency room—significantly.
A few weeks ago, I was asked to write a comment to accompany a study released Thursday in Science, which shows that Medicaid access increases
emergency room visits by more than 40 percent. To get a sense of how medical practitioners would respond to the findings, I asked my wife, a
primary-care physician at Bellevue Hospital, whether she thought Medicaid would increase or decrease ER use by the kinds of low-income individuals who
constitute her patient population. Her reaction: “I refer people to the emergency room all the time. Of course it’ll go up.”
Even if my wife and her fellow primary-care providers aren’t shocked to find their everyday experience validated by a large-scale experiment, many
others will be. Public officials from Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to state governors in Michigan and Ohio have cited a
reduction in traffic to overstressed emergency departments as a rationale for insurance expansion. They’d do well to change their talking
How many more lies must come to light, and how high will attendant costs have to go before middle-America realizes they've been sold a bill of goods,
and get rid of this robbery and top-down control of our lives and healthcare, once and for all?
edit on 2-1-2014 by jdub297 because: non for bob