2009 March Health Care News: Uninsured Aren’t to Blame for Hospital Overcrowding

Issue Date: 
March, 2009
Newspaper PDF: 

The March 2009 issue of Health Care News reports the results of a new study that finds overcrowding in emergency rooms happens because of myriad flaws in the U.S. health care system—not because the uninsured rely on emergency rooms more than insured patients.

Other top stories:

* The state of Vermont is considering cuts to Catamount, its taxpayer-funded health insurance program for low-income individuals, as the program is proving both unpopular and unaffordable.

* Washington state’s insurance commissioner has proposed extending government-run health insurance to state residents not covered by Medicaid, requiring a substantial hike in payroll taxes to pay for it.

* Concerned about a proposed federal law establishing a national registry of payments—including gifts—from drug companies to doctors, the pharmaceuticals industry has adopted a ban on all “non-educational” gifts to doctors.

* Governors are asking Congress for $40 billion in financial assistance for state Medicaid and SCHIP programs. But enrolling the newly unemployed in Medicaid and SCHIP is not the solution.

* A new study projects a shortage of 124,000 doctors in the United States by 2025. Experts say the solution is to return payment control to patients, so doctors can be paid what they’re worth.

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