President Obama and supporters of his health care law claimed ObamaCare would reduce costs since more people would forgo expensive emergency room visits because they would have access to primary care doctors. But a new study published by the Annals of Emergency Medicine journal found that the law has actually increased emergency room visits in Illinois since it was enacted.
Chicago Tribune reports:
Emergency visits in Illinois increased 5.7 percent, or by more than 14,000 visits a month on average, in 2014 and 2015 compared with 2011 through 2013, according to the study, published online in Annals of Emergency Medicine, a peer-reviewed journal.
The study is not an outlier, and the results found that increased emergency room visits “runs contrary” to Obama’s previous assurances during the health care debate.
The study’s findings are in line with the results of a nationwide poll last year in which three-fourths of emergency physicians surveyed reported seeing increasing numbers of emergency visits. That poll was released by the American College of Emergency Physicians, the same group behind the journal that published the Illinois study.
In 2014, a Harvard University study found that ObamaCare significantly increased the use of emergency rooms, leading to higher costs. Results of the study concluded that the newly insured under ObamaCare were seeking emergency care more often – marking a “40 percent increase in emergency department visits.”
On average, the Medicaid recipients visited ERs in 12 Portland-area hospitals 1.4 times during an 18-month period, compared with 1.02 visits for the control group without insurance. Using $435 as the average cost of an ER visit, the researchers calculated that Medicaid increased annual ER spending by $120 a covered person. Hospitals often end up footing the bill for uninsured patients.
While the Obama administration will try to push back on the new damaging report that emergency room visits were rising prior to ObamaCare, the study’s lead author was careful to note that these results “go beyond those increases.” As costs rise, competition dwindles, and premiums skyrocket, the administration is running out of talking points to defend Obama’s signature failure.