CHICAGO (AP) - Emergency rooms are the only choice for patients
who can't find care elsewhere. They may grow even more crowded
under the nation's new health law.
That may come as a surprise to those who thought getting 32
million more people covered by health insurance would ease ER
But experts predict a shortage primary care doctors will force
many newly insured patients to visit emergency rooms for their
That's happening now in Massachusetts where a 2006 law requires
insurance for almost everyone. ER visits there are continuing to
Many ERs closed during the 1990s, leaving fewer to handle the
load. American College of Emergency Physicians president Dr. Angela
Gardner says the nation is starting with crowded ERs and things may
only get worse.