Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fewer Emergency Rooms to Pick Up the GOP Medicaid Cuts

In a new report from JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, the number of emergency rooms has been in steady decline in urban areas since 1998.
Between 1998 and 2008, the number of hospital-based emergency departments (EDs) in the United States declined, while the number of ED visits increased, particularly visits by patients who were publicly insured and uninsured.
These closures represent a substantial health risk to poor and uninsured Americans who often have to rely on the emergency room for their primary and acute care. The study concludes
From 1990 to 2009, the number of hospital EDs in nonrural areas declined by 27%, with for-profit ownership, location in a competitive market, safety-net status, and low profit margin associated with increased risk of ED closure.
This throws a big wrench into the Republican talking point lie that people can just go to the emergency room. Like Rep. Paul Broun said in 2009,
One of the most radical opponents of health care reform is Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA). He has said that a public option would "kill people." Last Tuesday, Broun was confronted by a constituent at a health care town hall who explained that he has gone into debt because he can't afford insurance for his major depressive disorder. In response to his constituent's story, Broun said that "people who have depression, who have chronic diseases in this country ... can always get care in this country by going to the emergency room."
If there aren't any emergency rooms left, where will you go?

No comments:

Post a Comment