Emergency Room Care Deteriorates Under Obama; Gets A D-Minus On Report Card
January 20, 2014 • 5:10AM

In its quadrennial report card, the American College of Emergency Physicians has graded access to the nation's emergency rooms at D-, down from a C- in its 2009 report. The latest report says that the U.S. has far too few emergency departments to handle the number of patients seeking care, and that the situation will get worse with the advent of Obamacare.

According to Dr. Alex Rosenau, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), the lower grade in 2014 reflects a misguided focus (pervasive throughout the Obamacare scheme for "bending the cost curve" --ed.) on cutting resources for emergency departments, because of the popular but misguided view that emergency care is expensive, despite its being less than 5 percent of overall health care costs.

"Congress and President Obama must make it a national priority to strengthen the emergency medical care system," said Dr. Rosenau. "There were more than 130 million emergency visits in 2010, or 247 visits per minute. People are in need, but conditions in our nation have deteriorated since the 2009 Report Card, due to lack of policymaker action at the state and national levels."

Dr. Jon Mark Hirshon, chair of the task force that directed development of the Report Card, said: "America's grade for Access to Emergency Care was a near-failing D- because of declines in nearly every measure. It reflects that hospitals are not getting the necessary support in order to provide effective and efficient emergency care. There were 19 more hospital closures in 2011, and psychiatric care beds and hospital inpatient beds have fallen significantly, despite increasing demand. People are increasingly reliant on emergency care, and primary care physicians are advising their patients to go to the emergency department after hours to receive complex diagnostic workups and to facilitate admissions for acutely ill patients."