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Health Care Reform

Main Points 

  • The health care reform law (Affordable Care Act) is not solving the severe problems facing emergency patients. 
  • ACEP advocated for provisions in the law, such as inclusion of emergency services as an essential part of any health benefits package and the prudent layperson standard, which guarantees health plans base coverage on a patient’s symptoms, not final diagnosis.
  • Health insurance coverage does not guarantee access to medical care — Emergency visits have increased at twice the rate of the U.S. population, and they will continue to increase, despite health care reform.
  • Emergency care is efficient, representing just 2 percent of the nation’s annual health care dollar. At the same time, visits to emergency departments rose by 13 million in one year to 130 million visits in 2010.
  • Emergency medicine is critical at any hour of the day. It must be there when you need it.
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