Conservatives have long argued that Obamacare is a stalking horse for a fully government-run, single-payer healthcare system, much like the programs in Canada and Great Britain. Tellingly, this suggestion is often met with scoffs and feigned outrage from mainstream Democrats, but eager agreement from more honest lefty ideologues. During the fractious 2009 and 2010 healthcare debate, simply pointing out that Barack Obama has openly endorsed single payer healthcare on video was somehow a "smear." The media has also largely ignored Harry Reid's verbatim admission that Obamacare is an unsustainable program that's really just serving as a place-holder law. The "right-wing conspiracies" of yesteryear are being vindicated by events by the day. The question of whether the "Affordable" Care Act was specifically engineered to fail in order to pave the way for an even more intrusive federal intervention was our topic on Fox News last evening:
The study, published today in the journal Science, finds that adult Medicaid beneficiaries rely on emergency rooms about 40 percent more than similar uninsured adults. “When you cover the uninsured, emergency room use goes up by a large magnitude,” said Amy Finkelstein, a health economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who served as a lead investigator on the study, in an MIT press statement accompanying the study. There were no exceptions to the trend. “In no case were we able to find any subpopulations, or type of conditions, for which Medicaid caused a significant decrease in emergency department use,” said Finkelstein. We’ve seen real-world evidence that Medicaid increases emergency room utilization before, in states like California. But the Oregon study should settle any lingering debate.
My counterpart in the clip above asserted that Romneycare is working well in Massachusetts. Romneycare was sold as an antidote to uncompensated care and costly emergency room visits -- which increased following the law's passage. Romneycare has also brought about longer wait times for care, as well as the highest health costs in America. Obamacare expands Romneycare on a national scale, adding a boatload of new taxes and a rationing board into the mix for good measure. Will committed liberals (who smugly congratulate themselves for being "pro-science") be swayed by the empirical evidence on Medicaid's efficacy and ER visit data? Don't count on it.
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography