ObamaCare Puts Strain On Emergency Rooms, Bans Expansion By Doctor-Owned Hospitals


"Some men just want to watch the world burn."

When Masschusetts passed its health care overhaul in 2006, one of the key arguments supporters made was that it would bring down provider wait times. Instead, the opposite happened: Wait times grew all over the state, and Boston quickly came to lead the nation in medical waiting periods. Now, rather predictably, under the Affordable Care Act, we're poised to see similar increases nation-wide. From The Hill:

Richard Foster, Chief Actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, told The Hill that the current dearth of primary care physicians could lead to greater stress on hospital emergency rooms.

"The supply of doctors can't be increased very quickly–there's a time lag," he said, adding, "Is the last resort to newly covered people the emergency room? I would say that is a possibility, but I wouldn't say anybody has a very good handle on exactly how much of an infrastructure problem there will be or exactly how it might work out."

The Academy of Architecture for Health predicts hospitals will need at least $2 trillion over the next 20 years to meet the coming demand.

"As more people have access, you have to deal with the increased capacity," said Andrew Goldberg, senior director of federal relations at the American Institute of Architects. "At the moment there is not a lot of building going on because of the economy and a lot of health care facilities can't get the financing. We've been working on the Hill to try to address that issue."

You might argue, however, that the law's authors already addressed the issue—albeit not in the way Goldberg is hoping—when they imposed an immediate expansion ban on physician-owned hospitals.

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  1. “The supply of doctors can’t be increased very quickly?there’s a time lag,”

    H1-B visa. Classification: physician. Quota: +100,000.

    Whew! That was hard!

    1. You assume that they would want to come here when we’ve just royally f*cked the healthcare system up.

    2. My understanding – though I’d need to check further before getting into specifics – is that there are additional issues involving medical licensing and certification. Folks who have medical specialties elsewhere cannot always get license to practice here, even if they get through the immigration process.

      1. Which of course points to how the AMA is a big culprit in our health care problems. We can’t get rid of state licensing or simplify the process because that would affect the doctors’ monopoly.

        It would cost nothing to ease licensing procedures, and then open the borders. But why do that when you can spend trillions and bankrupt the country?

        1. We can’t get rid of state licensing or simplify the process because that would affect the doctors’ monopoly.

          This varies by locale. Boards are protectionist rackets in states like California and Florida, but New Mexico will license anyone.

      2. I was being somewhat facetious, although my underlying point remains valid. I recognize the issues brought up re: licensing, although I’d agree with the argument for simplification of the process.

        I also can’t deny Cordoroy’s point that Obamacare has, or will, make it much less desirable for any physician to come to this country, unless they plan on doing boob jobs @ $5,000 a pop.

      3. A colleague of mine has a father-in-law who was a certified, fully-licensed anesthesiologist in Taiwan. Then he came here and had to get a job at Walmart due to the law’s arbitrariness about which countries’ medical licenses are accepted here.

        1. Big deal. There are more of us and we are cheaper to employ than your oh so worthy of pity father-in-law.

          You Losertarians were saying something about comparative advantage and division of labor?

          1. Reason’s Trolls, always stuck on the ground floor and pushing the wrong buttons out of habit.

  2. What’s so funny is that lawyers have it sewn up so that only lawyers can own law firms. Here we see the opposite.

  3. http://www.washingtonpost.com/…..83_pf.html

    Here is another kick in the nuts. This sends a chill down my spine. How the hell do we tell who is “sexually dangerous”. Basically we no longer have the right to trial by jury or legal process in this country. If you are a sex offender, they can just hold you forever at their discretion.

    Note that we don’t do that with terrorists, at least not US citizens captured on US soil. But we will do it with sex offenders.

    1. A coworker sent me this story earlier today. He’s somebody I rarely talk to, but he’s heard my rants once or twice.

      I have officially become the guy everyone in the office thinks of when they hear “sex offender”.

      1. That just means you have principles. If you are not willing to defend the worst criminals, you don’t really believe in due process.

        1. Technically the people affected by this law have already been convicted. So I’m not sure there are due process concerns.

          Not a constitutional lawyer, but my concern would be with the Ex Post Facto clause (as the sentence written into law is essentially being increased after the crime was committed) and the 8th amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

          1. They have already served their sentence. They didn’t receive a life sentence through the criminal court system but are getting one imposed unilaterally by the state. Due process says I can’t be sent to jail without a trial and I can only be sent to jail for however long the law and the courts say. The law and courts gave these guys a specific sentence. The State is now extending that sentence with no new trial. That to me is a denial of due process.

            1. I’m not convinced that due process includes the sentencing phase. Once you’re convicted your due process requirement has been satisfied, if I understand correctly.

              I still have a problem with the issues I mention above with ex post facto and cruel and unusual punishment.

          2. Courts generally get around sex offender registry requirements by ruling that they are “administrative” requirements rather than criminal sanctions. I think that’s BS but there you are.

            A few corageous state supreme courts (including, I think, Missouri) have ruled that such laws are ex post facto sentences and cannot apply to defendants sentenced before the laws were passed.

    2. And only Scalia and Thomas dissented. Good for them, and shame on the rest.

      1. Note that they dissented over enumerated powers concerns (ie, there is no grant of this power in Art I Sec 8).

        NONE of the justices thought there were Bill of Rights concerns, which is insane.

        1. Actually, I think Thomas’ dissent was responding specifically to Breyer’s majority decision. He was absolutely correct. Including a discussion of Bill of Rights violations wasn’t necessary for Thomas’ argument.

          1. Usually if there are multiple reasons why a justice thinks the decision was wrong, he or she will bring all of them up even if the majority does not address them.

    3. Forget terrorists — we don’t even do it with murderers. If there is reason to believe that a convicted murderer is likely to kill someone again, we can’t keep them in prison after their sentence is up.

      But if a guy is considered likely to flash the kids at a playground, he can be kept indefinitely. That’s fucked up.

      1. I think it’s because murder is not alleged to be a disease symptom.

        1. It depends.

    4. How the hell do we tell who is “sexually dangerous”.
      I think that the general rule of thumb is “do they have a penis?” If yes, “sexually dangerous,” if no, “May be sexually dangerous.” (And no John, I’m not being snarky.)

      1. That is actually a good point in that I seriously doubt any female sex offenders are ever held under these laws.

        1. You don’t have to be a convicted offender. All it takes is an accusation.

          1. Tell me about it. I never lived it down.

            1. Sometimes it can have a happy ending.

            2. I never knew the full story about the McMartin trials so I went and looked it up. It started in 1983 when Judy Johnson told police her son was sodomized by her estranged husband and Ray Buckey, a teacher at McMartin pre-school. The got whole ball rolling as police sent out a form letter to parents with children in McMartin pre-school asking them to question their children about the abuse. Wikipedia then says,

              “Johnson was diagnosed with and hospitalized for acute paranoid schizophrenia and in 1986 was found dead in her home from complications of chronic alcoholism before the preliminary hearing concluded.”

              If that’s true, then wow. Holy shit wow. The following investigation and trial lasted 6 years.

        2. I think it depends highly on the age of the victims with female sex offenders, there seems to be an invisible line about 13 or so where the social perception changes. If the victim was younger than that they’re monsters, if older then not so much.

          1. Whatever happened to losing my virginity as a badge of honor? I thought progressives and libertarians were on board with consensual sex at any age! Hell, I lost my virginity at twelve. Society tells me that sex is my right! Why can’t I have sex with my hot teacher or neighbor? Who are you to tell me I can’t have sex?!

            1. because a 12 year old only thinks he’s ready for sex.

              1. Of course throughout most of human history 12 year olds or certainly 15 or 16 year olds were getting married and having kids. The teenager was only invented in the last 100 years.

                1. We all would emotionally mature a lot faster, If we live to the ripe old age of 29. Mr. ‘I was a Horny teenager’ will be around till 80 years+. Masturbating, won’t do him any harm.

                  1. Lies!

  4. Don’t worry, the Central Planners will iron this all out and still save us money.

  5. The Academy of Architecture for Health

    Why does this not make me feel any better?

  6. The American Hospital Association maintains that the 5,000 community hospitals it represents will be able to care for the additional Americans who will be covered under Obamacare. Ellen Pryga, director of policy, defended the new regulations on physician-owned hospitals as necessary to streamline patient care and avoid conflicts of interest on patient referrals.

    See? they have nothing but your best interests in mind.

    1. I’ve been asking my boss why we still belong to the AHA.

      He’s not sure, either.

      1. We may have something to do with that.

  7. Oh, and that pic kicks ass.

    1. I thought the Joker was anti-planner.

      1. “Do I really look like a guy with a plan? You know what I am? I’m a dog chasing cars. I wouldn’t know what to do with one if I caught it. You know, I just…do things. The mob has plans, the cops have plans, Gordon’s got plans. You know, they’re schemers. Schemers trying to control their little worlds. I’m not a schemer. I try to show the schemers how pathetic their attempts to control things really are.”

        1. Yet he planned relentlessly the entire movie. Or did those barrels of gasoline wheel themselves aboard those ferries?

          1. He has to plan to show planners the futility of planning.

            He’d have made a perfect ONDCP head.

          2. That’s tactics, not strategy. I think he was referring to strategical types of planning.

            Of course, it’s also possible he was not consistent in his philosophy.

  8. That pic is probably racist, somehow!

  9. Restricting expansion of hospitals will do wonders for hospital prices.

  10. They hate us for our freedom!!!

  11. a certified, fully-licensed anesthesiologist in Taiwan. Then he came here and had to get a job at Walmart,/i>

    Most of the people in WalMart appear to be anesthetized. He does good work.

  12. stupid keyboard

    1. P Brooks, you are fined one-half credit for a res ipsa loquitur violation of the HMTL Morality Statute.

  13. Who didn’t see this one coming?

    Doctors may be forced to accept Medicare rates to stay licensed

    But why pay doctors more for better care when you can just force them to accept lower reimbursement rates (as low as 110% of Medicare rates) “as a condition of their licensure” that would effectively make these physicians employees of the state?

    1. Employees? It makes them fucking slaves.

      1. I remember when master told me I had to take a 100% pay cut and deal with getting whipped on a regular basis if I wanted to keep my cotton picking license. Should have taken that job at Wal-Mart.

    2. Repeal the 13th Amendment?! We don’t need no stinkin’ repeal of the 13th Amendment…

  14. This post wins based on the photo alone. That’s all I have to say.

  15. You know, I think I used to work in a hospital with the nurse in that picture.

    I’m pretty sure she’s union.

  16. the current dearth of primary care physicians could lead to greater stress on hospital emergency rooms

    Obama promised the opposite. More covered people means fewer trips to The People’s Emergency Rooms. Also, his wife’s Tubby Tots Initiative means skinnier kids eating healthier foods. We should worry about there not being enough ponies to go around.

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