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.
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