Emergency-Room Visits Continue to Rise Under Obamacare  

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Emergency-room visits continue to rise in the second year of Obamacare, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The visits are up despite claims by President Obama that the law would reduce emergency-room visits because Obamacare would increase access to other kinds of care.

"There was a grand theory the law would reduce ER visits," Dr. Howard Mell, a spokesman for the American College of Emergency Physicians, told the Journal. "Well, guess what, it hasn’t happened. Visits are going up despite the ACA, and in a lot of cases because of it."

Emergency-room visits continued to climb in the second year of the Affordable Care Act, contradicting the law’s supporters who had predicted a decline in traffic as more people gained access to doctors and other health-care providers.

A survey of 2,098 emergency-room doctors conducted in March showed about three-quarters said visits had risen since January 2014. That was a significant uptick from a year earlier, when less than half of doctors surveyed reported an increase. The survey by the American College of Emergency Physicians is scheduled to be published Monday.

Medicaid recipients newly insured under the health law are struggling to get appointments or find doctors who will accept their coverage, and consequently wind up in the ER, ACEP said. Volume might also be increasing due to hospital and emergency-department closures—a long-standing trend.

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