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Tipsheet

Surprise: ER Visits Still Going Up Despite Promises Obamacare Would Bring Them Down

When Obamacare was being debated years ago, proponents of the legislation argued that if passed, the bill would decrease emergency room visits due to more people having health insurance and going to regular doctors instead. Since Obamacare was passed in 2010, we've seen an increase, not a decrease in ER visits and according to a new poll, the problem is getting worse. More from the Washington Times

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Doctors say emergency room visits have increased since the advent of Obamacare, undercutting one of the key selling points of President Obama’s health care law, which was supposed to ensure a healthier population by pushing consumers to rely on their primary physicians rather than emergency trips to the hospital.

Three out of four ER doctors said they have seen a rise in the number of patients since January 2014, when Obamacare fully kicked in, according to a survey conducted by the American College of Emergency Physicians. More than a quarter of the doctors said they have seen a major surge, and 47 percent said the rise has been slight.

The doctors said they fear a spike in visits could overwhelm their resources: Seven out of 10 said their departments aren’t prepared for a significant increase in patient volume.

So why is there a surge in emergency room visits as more people obtain health insurance? Because Obamacare is wiping out the primary care doctor industry, once again proving "if you like your doctor, you can keep you doctor" was a big lie.

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The biggest cause is a lack of primary care doctors to treat the increased number of patients with health care coverage, so the patients are turning to the emergency room instead — exactly what wasn’t supposed to happen.

“Just because people have health insurance does not mean they have access to timely medical care,” said Michael Gerardi, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians.

A 2013 Deloitte Center For Health Solutions Survey found 60 percent of doctors plan to retire early due to Obamacare. This is just the beginning of the ER room crunch, but opponents of Obamacare have been warning about this problem for years.

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