Well, What Did You THINK Was Going To Happen?
Just a quick note here in response to the widely publicized Oregon study about medicaid patients. The study found that providing people with health insurance INCREASED the use of emergency rooms, not decreased. The media is going crazy saying that a basic premise of the ACA is proving to be false, the republicans were right all along, Medicaid is a scourge, Medicaid is essential, Oregon is terrible, Oregon is wonderful, the sky is falling, the Yankees suck, etc.
Look people. What the @#$%$ did you think was going to happen? It’s both basic economics and human nature. If something is perceived to be less expensive, people will use/buy it more. I suspect increased usage is not happening only in ERs. Remember, health insurance does not decrease the cost of healthcare, it only hides the cost so the user can’t see it. So a newly-insured person, who is used to using the ER by the way, can find a primary physician, make an appointment, take time off from work, get on the bus or the train to go see this person who will give him 15-20 minutes of his/her time and tell him to come back in 6 months. Or, he can finish work, go home, take a shower, then walk to the local ER in the evening or on the weekend and get all the attention he needs. If cost is not an issue, which one is this newly-insured person likely to choose? The newly-insured person is not stupid or selfish or uninformed or irresponsible. It’s human nature.