#Obamacare causing MORE Medicaid recipients to use emergency rooms.

AS John Ekdahl notes, we were told that the opposite was going to happen.  And yet, here we are: “Nationally, nearly half of ER doctors responding to a recent poll by the American College of Emergency Physicians said they’ve seen more visits since Jan. 1, and nearly nine in 10 expect those visits to rise in the next three years. Mike Rust, president of the Kentucky Hospital Association, said members statewide describe the same trend.”  Essentially, what is happening is that people on Medicaid are discovering that having access to a form of medical insurance does not mean the same as access to medical care.  Many doctors do not take Medicaid, and there’s not enough doctors anyway: but the emergency room is always there; as a result, not only are more people using ERs, they’re also using them for a wider range of services than, strictly speaking, emergency ones.

This is, by the way, where I note the following:

Because I do not want anybody to pretend that any of this is actually a surprise. We were telling people four years ago that Medicaid was going to be a mess, from lack of doctors to overwhelmed emergency rooms.  This was a known thing; and the people that argued otherwise then have demonstrated a remarkable lack of shame when it comes to their cheerleading now. And that’s not my fault, or the GOP’s fault, or the Right’s fault either.  This is, top to bottom, left to right, front to back, a Democratic party problem and a Democrat-themed disaster event.

Make them own it.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

PS: Step one in fixing the problem? Remove Harry Reid as Senate Majority Leader and replace him with a Republican.  Then we can talk about making Barack Obama face a hard choice for the first time in his extraordinarily privileged and elitist life.

4 thoughts on “#Obamacare causing MORE Medicaid recipients to use emergency rooms.”

  1. You aren’t the only one that’s made this prediction, Obamacare was never about getting people more access to healthcare. Instead it was all about power and control.

  2. They seem to think that doctors are grown in the same fields where money-pooping unicorns frolic.

  3. There are enough doctors and clinics, but there is no incentive for them to provide Medicaid care that many times pays less that one third of regular rates — sometimes much less.

    For example, adult Medicaid/Applecare/Provider1 dental xray in WA pays the clinic $1.38 cents — this does’t even pay for the cost of the receptionist to answer the phone to make an appointment. It’s less than 5% of regular fees. There are similar examples all over the Medicaid fee schedule.

    The solution isn’t to pay doctors more, it’s to allow clinics to deduct the unreimbursed cost of charity/Medicaid care from income — aka tax cut. Additionally, allow Medicaid payees to pay out of their pocket for care, if they so choose — currently it’s illegal. With doctor’s tax rates around 30%, deductible charity care would be roughly on par with what Medicaid is paying, without all the massive Medicaid burrOcracy and it’s red tape, rationing and second tier care.

    Clinics everywhere would be quickly develop community based, not central planning based, sliding fees schedules for providing charity care. Plus, there’s a check and balance against fraud — there would have to be real income from regular paying patients for tax deductions to work…

    It’s a no brainer, it would work with or without Medicaid, and be stable thru most any deficit budget issue — only problem is folks would quickly come to realize that it’s doctors and nurses, not politicians and burrOcrats, that provide health care. Politicians don’t like to be second fiddle…

    Hence, we have monstrosities like OCare, which puts the focus upon empowering politicians to control our health care and our lives.

  4. Saw a bumper sticker the other day (next to the Obama sticker) that said, “MEDICARE HAS ONLY 3% OVERHEAD. LET’S GET EVERYONE ON IT.”
    Yeah, I live in Portland…

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