Thursday, January 2, 2014

Reality Rears Its Ugly Head

"Supporters of President Obama’s health care law had predicted that expanding insurance coverage for the poor would reduce costly emergency room visits because people would go to primary care doctors instead." Link

And then someone - clearly not properly briefed on the Party Line - went and conducted an actual proper survey, because Science, and lo and behold, HopeyDopeyCare's HappyGas promises got gobsmacked by the Reality Fairy:

"Those who gained coverage made 40 percent more visits to the emergency room than their uninsured counterparts during their first 18 months with insurance."

Suprising no one with a lick of common sense, and/or 5 minutes' work experience in any American ED in any town or city with a population larger than a list of who Paris Hilton has slept with. Which, uncoincidentally, didn't include anyone who voted for this Mother Of All Boondoggles.

Who will doubtless be shocked, Shocked! I say! to find out

"The findings cast doubt on the hope that expanded insurance coverage will help rein in emergency room costs just as more than two million people are gaining coverage under the Affordable Care Act. And they go against one of the central arguments of the law’s supporters, that extending insurance to large numbers of Americans would reduce emergency room use, and eventually save money."

{Nota bene that it's closer to two thousand people who are gaining coverage - to date - but it's only been a few months. Nonetheless, the point in the article is still valid.}

Biggest shock of all?
That this story was published today by the NYTimes.
Two possibilities:
1) Someone in HR at the NYT screwed up, and they accidentally hired someone who knew how to actually report a story based on facts and evidence using techniques of accepted journalistic practice everywhere else in the free world. This story isn't "Blind pig finds acorn"; it would be more accurately titled "Pig finds entire forest of acorn-bearing trees".
2) Someone didn't read the paper's Style Manual regarding following DNC talking points, and is imminently to be reassigned from writing Medical stories to writing Obituaries.

Either way, since this came from Science magazine via the NYT, the cat is well and truly out of the bag, but it's really curious that it took them 5 years to collate and publish the data from 2008-2009, helpfully long after the plan had been not-debated, rushed to a vote, passed, and then the architect of its passage successfully re-elected before it found daylight.

Nothing to see there, certainly just a wonderful string of coincidences.

If this were 1996, the authors of the column and the study would be found dead in a city park after committing suicide by shooting themselves in the head three times each.
In 2014, I expect they'll shortly disappear, and their next stop will be some Third World dungeon used to render confessions from suspected terrorists, never to be heard from again. After all, midterms are coming, followed by the race to pick the next president, and boat-rocking is viewed dimly under the current regime.

Try not to notice that your ED is busier, especially now that most of them have cut staff due to expected government underpayments.

Once again, the problem with Obamacare isn't that the website is broken, it's that it will eventually work as was intended. And here we see the cognoscenti who foisted it upon us focusing on predicting whether a cat will land on its feet or not, when the real problem is that they also predicted the cat would land on the ceiling.


  1. I've visited a couple of different ER blogs, and people (on both sides of the party line) are pretty freaked out about what's about to happen...

    Just found your site, by the way. There's a lot of great stuff here! Will be back.

  2. It's not so much about "what's about to happen", it's about what's been going on non-stop since 1986.

    The only change now is to increase the subsidy for the people with a record of making the worst life choices. It's like handing compulsive gamblers a stack of chips to "solve their problem".