Friday, January 03, 2014

Straight to the ER

Peter Suderman writes: "No, Obamacare won't reduce emergency room usage".  In fact, expanding Medicaid is going to make the most expensive form of primary care more of a burden to hospitals.
But the best evidence has never really supported the hope that the law would reduce emergency room usage. That’s because much of the law’s expanded coverage comes via Medicaid, the jointly run federal-state program for the low income and disabled. And Medicaid beneficiaries tend to visit the emergency room more often than the uninsured.
A new study of Medicaid beneficiaries in Oregon makes a strong version of this case. 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.
Gosh, if only there was an independent press pointing out similar results in Massachusetts under Romneycare before plunging headlong into this mess.

Extra - From Ace: "Is there a single claim about this program that wasn't a "wrong promise"?"

More - Samefacts: "This talking point was never properly evidence-based or even particularly plausible given prior research."  We'll throw that in with "if you like your health plan you can keep it" pile.

Addendum - Or maybe ER visits went down in Massachusetts.


Nigel Tufnel said...

Happy New Year, Vike. Best wishes to you and yours for a safe and healthy 2014.

I also hope you can make a new years resolution to stop falling victim to confirmation bias. You're referencing yourself now, I'm afraid. Your 2009 posting snarked at the suggestion that people were jumping to conclusions based on insufficient data and that there should be a longer-term study.

Three years later, in 2012, there was a study done on ER visits in Massachusetts. It showed visits were down since enactment of the Romneycare.

Eric said...

Nigel - same to you and your family. Your boys must be getting close to graduation.

I'm trying but, admittedly, I didn't do a search on UMichigan abstracts. Added to post.

Anonymous said...

"If you like your talking points, you can keep them."