Last November, Obama proudly said, “[Obamacare] means that all the providers around here, instead of having to take in folks in the emergency room, they suddenly have customers who have insurance. That means those of you who already have health insurance, your premiums will not be subsidizing folks who don’t have health insurance. People will get preventive care, which means that people are likely to be healthier.”
The president’s logic was that poor Americans would not be forced to use the emergency room for most medical needs, since they would be provided with health insurance via Medicaid under Obamacare. This system would save money, he claimed.
Now, however, it seems that this may not be true.
The Oregon Health Insurance Experiment conducted by the nonpartisan National Bureau of Economic Research, found that expanding Medicaid actually increases emergency room visits. The study began in 2008.
The study compared 25,000 low income individuals — half had Medicaid and half did not. Those with Medicaid, according to the study, visited the emergency room 40% more than those without insurance. Making these findings even more worrisome is the fact that most of the emergency room visits were for “primary care treatable” health problems.
National data also supports the study’s findings — according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, even though Medicaid patients currently only make up 16% of the US population, they make up one-third of all emergency room visits.
These findings contradict what President Obama has been trumpeting for years.
In 2010, he declared, “What happens is, you don’t have health insurance, you go to the emergency room. You weren’t getting a checkup; something that might have been curable with some antibiotics isn’t caught. By the time you get to the hospital, it’s much more expensive … we’re a lot better off if we are making sure that everybody is getting preventive care.”
He has continued to make similar statements until recently.
Other Democrats have made the same argument to push Obamacare. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said in 2013 that repealing Obamacare would “force millions of American families to once again rely on expensive emergency room care—or go without care at all.”
Is this yet another broken promise fed to us by the president in order to push his healthcare bill? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.