When President Obama was selling the Affordable Care Act to the country, he promised that we would see a decline in emergency room visits once everyone had health insurance. Because patients would begin seeking regular care through a primary physician, they would stop using the ER as their go-to health center. But if a new survey of American doctors tells the story, we can safely chalk this up to yet another Obamacare failure.
According to a survey conducted by the American College of Emergency Physicians, three out of four ER doctors say there has been a rise in emergency room patients since the beginning of 2014. That happens to coincide perfectly with the moment Obamacare fully kicked in for individuals and families. 25 percent of these doctors say the rise could better be described as a significant surge. 70 percent admit that their hospitals do not have the resources to handle a dramatic increase in ER visits.
On the surface, these numbers seem dubious. Plenty of Obamacare’s selling points were patently absurd, but the logical assumption was that ER visits would indeed drop once more Americans were insured. So what went wrong? To understand that, one has to look beyond the emergency room to see what’s happening with primary care physicians as a result of the law. Many are dropping out of healthcare altogether while others are planning to retire early. Patients are struggling to find physicians willing to take on new accounts, and the wait times for appointments are ballooning. In this environment, access to timely healthcare is worse than ever.
Obamacare has been such a failure on every level that it’s worth wondering if it was intended to fail. Was this just an elaborate, expensive charade meant to pave the way for single-payer Medicare? Was this just a hoax intended to weaken the American resolve against socialized medicine? It can’t be ignored that at least one Democratic presidential nominee is running on a platform of universal healthcare. Bernie Sanders may not be likely to win, but there’s no doubt that Americans are more open to the idea of socialism today than they were seven years ago.
And so what’s next? What else do we socialize after the Democrats have gotten their way on healthcare? How far do we stray from the fundamental principles that built America before the left is satisfied? How much of this steady slide into oblivion are Republicans willing to endure before they stand up for democracy, capitalism, and freedom? Plenty of politicians on the right talk about small government, but we’re so far from that right now that they might as well be talking about the climate on Jupiter.
America needs a doctor. There is a sickness growing in her that shows no sign of abating. It is the cancer of liberalism, and it is threatening to eat her from the inside out. Better to seek treatment now than to wait until we have no choice but to rush to the emergency room. By then, it may be too late. After all, resources are dwindling.