Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

2 of 6
BACKNEXT
'Real problem is shortage of providers'
'Real problem is shortage of providers'
Dr. Brian Krakover
Emergency Physician
I am an emergency medicine physician and an active duty army officer. My opinion is my own and in no way represents the government or the military.

I have worked in private practice in both busy inner city trauma centers, suburban settings, and both urban and remote locations in Iraq.

People [in the U.S.] choose where they want to seek care. That freedom to choose is what guarantees people get the care they need. They come to the ER because they get comprehensive service and they generally get their complaints addressed in a timely manner.

The new health care legislation may increase the number of people with health insurance. But unless there are more doctors being created in the United States, and the numbers of medical school graduates start increasing for things like primary care and emergency medicine, there won't be anywhere for these people to go except where they're already going - the ER.

By law, emergency room doctors have to see everyone regardless of their ability to pay.Sure, the amount of care that is not reimbursed may go down some. But the real problem is shortage of providers, not a shortage of insurance.

The new health care law does nothing to address this. They whiffed completely. In the end, we have always had a safety net mandated but not funded by the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, which guarantees stabilizing medical treatment for a patient or for an unborn baby without respect to ability to pay.

That means I have to see you without asking how you plan to pay. However, it costs money in the form of materials, facility costs, salaries, and malpractice coverage to see patients. Just because I can't close my doors to you doesn't mean you don't have the responsibility to pay for the care you [get].

NEXT: 'Lack of meaningful tort reform is very concerning'

Last updated April 08 2010: 10:35 AM ET
Email | Print | Share  |  RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
More Galleries
Best business class airline lounges around the world Between August 2015 and May 2016, Skytrax surveyed over 19.2 million customers to find the best airline lounges. Here is what they found. More
What Boeing's new 737 Max 9 has under the hood Boeing unveiled its new, longer 737 Max 9 airliner earlier this month, the second member of the updated single-aisle jet family. The first aircraft will deliver to airlines starting in 2018. More
Toy Fair surfaces holograms, robotic animals, dolls for boys The Toy Industry Association's annual fair revealed countless tech-enabled toys -- and some fresh takes on old classics. More

Special Offer