Blind Contrarianism; Or, “AP Rumsfelds The HCR Bill”

We’ll convince you that expanded access to healthcare is bad one way or another, damn it.

CHICAGO – Emergency rooms, the only choice for patients who can’t find care elsewhere, may grow even more crowded with longer wait times under the nation’s new health law.

That might come as a surprise to those who thought getting 32 million more people covered by health insurance would ease ER crowding. It would seem these patients would be able to get routine health care by visiting a doctor’s office, as most of the insured do.

But it’s not that simple. Consider:

_There’s already a shortage of front-line family physicians in some places and experts think that will get worse.

_People without insurance aren’t the ones filling up the nation’s emergency rooms. Far from it. The uninsured are no more likely to use ERs than people with private insurance, perhaps because they’re wary of huge bills.

_The biggest users of emergency rooms by far are Medicaid recipients. And the new health insurance law will increase their ranks by about 16 million. Medicaid is the state and federal program for low-income families and the disabled. And many family doctors limit the number of Medicaid patients they take because of low government reimbursements.

_ERs are already crowded and hospitals are just now finding solutions.

via Health overhaul may mean longer ER waits, crowding – Yahoo! News.

Does the HCR bill also include money Bernie Sanders negotiated to build a bunch of new Community Health Centers? It does! Are CHC patients typically lower-income? They sure are! Does CHC provide “front-line family” care? You bet your sweet bippy! Is lack of access to “front-line family” care the key to our hypothetically-increased wait times? Most definitely! Do we feel it appropriate to mention that the bill we contend might increase ER waits because it exacerbates lack of “front-line family” care also expands access to same? Of course not, why do you ask?

This kind of willful ignorance really fucking burns me up. Either the reporter had this suggested to him by some asshole editor, political strategist,  etc. with an agenda and did as he was told like a good little stenographer without even bothering to check for counterarguments, or he’s familiar enough with the legislation that he developed this story himself yet still wants me to believe he doesn’t realize the CHC funding is in there. Either way the whole fucking thing is moot but here you go: more fuel for arguments that — specific flaws aside — expanding healthcare in and of itself is somehow going to be a bad thing.

“Yeah but if you feed the poor then there won’t be enough bread for the rest of us.” Then fucking bake more.

“Well if you write regulations government will just fail to enforce them properly.” Ah, so clearly the correct answer is just to give up entirely rather than funding and staffing the agencies in question appropriately.

etc.

These kind of bullshit “well it’s all pointless so let’s just give up on anything that makes our lives better” attitude makes me want to slap people. This isn’t goddamn economics class; people aren’t going to get “crowded out”* of the goddamn ER by a hypothetical problem alleviated by the same fucking bill that will allegedly cause the increased waits And they say I’m the fucking pessimist.

*and incidentally crowding out is a theory favored by the type of conservative thinkers who recently melted down the world’s economy, but let’s not let that slow us down or anything.

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