Many politicians were motivated to push for Obamacare because of how much money we're spending on emergency room care, for patients who don't have insurance.
Health care delivered in the emergency room is often derided as expensive and inefficient, the source of our health spending woes. Physician Robert O’Connor has a different way to describe emergency medicine: An incredibly good deal.
O’Connor chairs the department of emergency medicine at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. As an emergency room doctor, he is not unbiased in defending the work he and his colleagues do. He’s also pretty tired of all the rhetoric about emergency rooms as the health spending culprit.
He says that ERs only account for 2 percent of all health care spending—and argues that patients actually get tons of bang for their buck.
... Another surprising data point: Emergency room spending is pretty uniform across different types of insurance coverage. That challenges some of the assumptions that the uninsured tend to visit the emergency room the most frequently. As it turns out, 89 percent of emergency room patients have some form of public or private insurance.
How much government regulation should we do, if we're concerned about 2-4% of overall healthcare spending?
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