Who would have thunk it? Demanding that the laws of economics & reality bend to the will of unicorn fart smellers and their do-good ideas has not worked as intended!
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 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.”
That’s just the opposite of what many people expected under Obamacare, particularly because one of the goals of health reform was to reduce pressure on emergency rooms by expanding Medicaid and giving poor people better access to primary care.
Instead, 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, 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.
Experts cite many reasons: A longstanding 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.
Yeah, I am sure many these people are “forced” to attend the ER instead of doing otherwise, because of doctor shortages and the decline in Medicaid accepting doctors, but the real fact IMO is that these people can’t be bothered. We can pretend it is because they can’t go to a doctor during regular hours, but I am willing to bet they are hitting the emergency rooms during those regular hours. I doubt most of these newcomers are employed to begin with. When you get shit you feel is free you aren’t inclined to worry much about how much it costs the people paying for it or how badly it is inconveniencing a system you now feel owes you shit.
Setting up a primary physician, making an appointment, then keeping said appointment is likely way too much work for people that feel all that crap is just an obstacle to their whims. These “I want free healthcare” types just want a system where they show up and are taken care of. Like they want government to pay for everything and anything, no questions asked, because they were born.
Seriously, this was not the way to get healthcare out to the masses. For people that love to tell us how to do things, the leftists sure dropped the ball on this issue. Then again, regulating ER access would not serve their plan to overload the system and bring it crashing down. After all, the end goal remains that single payer system they want.