Monday, June 9, 2014

Obamacare: A Perfect Storm for Crowded Hospital Emergency Rooms

USA Today reports:
It wasn't supposed to work this way, but since the Affordable Care Act took effect in January, Norton Hospital has seen its packed emergency room become even more crowded, with about 100 more patients a month.

That 12 percent spike in the number of patients — many of whom aren't actually facing true emergencies — is spurring the Louisville hospital to convert a waiting room into more exam rooms.

"We're seeing patients who probably should be seen at our (immediate-care centers)," said Lewis Perkins, the hospital's vice president of patient care and chief nursing officer. "And we're seeing this across the system."...
many hospitals in Kentucky and across the nation are seeing a surge of those newly insured Medicaid patients walking into emergency rooms.

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...

Experts cite many reasons: A long-standing shortage of primary-care doctors leaves too few to handle all the newly insured patients. Some doctors won't accept Medicaid. And poor people often can't take time from work when most primary care offices are open, while ERs operate round-the-clock and by law must at least stabilize patients.

Plus, some patients who have been uninsured for years don't have regular doctors and are accustomed to using ERs, even though it is much more expensive.

"It's a perfect storm here," said Dr. Ryan Stanton of Lexington, president of the Kentucky chapter of the ER physician group."We've given people an ATM card in a town with no ATMs."


  1. "We've given people an ATM card in a town with no ATMs."

    Ah, the classic communist lament. You get your ration card and go to the grocery store, but there aren't any rations. If you had dollars the store owner might be able to sell you something illegally, but you don't.

    Everyone celebrates as the government gives them a piece of paper that says "You are hereby entitled to all the medical care you want." Now try taking it to the doctor and see what happens. Doctor isn't stupid.

  2. But I thought that if the uninsured could just get insured then they would have access to preventative care so that everyone would be healthier! What happened?

  3. Aw shucks, who in the world saw this coming? Who'da thunk that subsidizing a behavior increases that behavior? No human brain could have predicted this.....wait....what? Oh they did?..........nevermind.

  4. This should only get better with hundreds of illegal aliens rushing across the border knowing amnesty is awaiting them. We. Are. Dumb.