The road to hell is not only paved with good intentions, but with serious unintended consequences.
Let’s test this premise by examining a couple of recent revelations surrounding the Affordable Care Act.
A poll by the American College of Emergency Room Physicians revealed emergency room visits are rising since “Obamacare” was implemented.
How can this be? President Barack Obama and those who supported the Affordable Care Act assured Americans there would be fewer emergency room visits.
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear made similar claims, although he was on target in noting that emergency rooms are “the most expensive place to get care.”
The reason emergency room visits are rising is related to a surge of people who became eligible for Medicaid under “Obamacare,” some 500,000 in Kentucky.
Because many physicians don’t take Medicaid patients because of that program’s low reimbursement rate, more people utilize emergency rooms for their health care needs.
Local hospitals are not immune to this unintended consequence. Both local hospitals report more people using the emergency room as their primary care outlet.
Now consider a recent headline from The (Louisville) Courier-Journal that read “ACA forcing cuts, layoffs in Kentucky, report says.”
The story below the headline expressed concerns of the Kentucky Hospital Association that member hospitals would have a net shortfall of $1 billion in revenue by 2020 as a result of losing more money under “Obamacare” than they gain in revenue as a result of the law’s expanded coverage.
Consider the implications of this shortfall.
The same Courier-Journal story reported 7,700 hospital staff cuts in the state, services shut down and some smaller hospitals, particularly in rural areas, facing concerns about their very survival.
What we take from all of this is that because of the unintended consequences of “Obamacare,” Kentuckians can see the perfect storm on their horizon.
In an emergency, when minutes can literally mean the difference between life and death, our citizens could arrive at an emergency room filled with more patients with fewer staff to attend them.
For a person who needs immediate emergency care from an auto accident, stroke or heart attack who must cross several county lines to get to a hospital because their county’s facility was forced to close, the prospect is even more grim.
Given all this, we believe it is entirely reasonable to require the “Obamacare” product to come with the following warning label: “Given the falsehoods surrounding this product and its unintended consequences, ‘Obamacare’ poses a risk not only to your wallet, but to your health and life as well.”
The Daily News, Bowling Green