A key cost-reducing aim of Obamacare was to reduce expensive emergency room visits by having taxpayers subsidize coverage for the uninsured. However, according to a forthcoming survey by the American College of Emergency Physicians, nearly half of ER doctors report they are seeing more, not fewer, people entering the emergency room.
Tenet Healthcare CEO Trevor Fetter told the Wall Street Journal the rise in ER visits is contrary to cost containment.
“It’s all right with us [because] we run hospitals with emergency rooms, but in terms of the overall cost to the system, you’d want them to find care in a different setting,” said Fetter.
The surge in ER visits is also creating crowding in places like Napa, California’s St. Joseph Health Queen of the Valley Medical Center where patients are now put in the hallways on a regular basis because there is no space in the emergency room.
Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX), himself a former OB-GYN, says it’s yet another broken Obamacare promise.
“It was a special argument” that the law would stem ER visits, said Burgess.
Obamacare will cost U.S. taxpayers $2.6 trillion over the next 10 years.