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ERs are busy, but fewer patients are uninsured

New York Times, May 6, 2008
Data shows that while the number of uninsured people nationwide rose to 15.7 percent in 2004 from 15.4 percent in 1995, but in that period the proportion of uninsured people using emergency rooms declined. The 26 percent increase in the number of ER visits was largely caused by an increase in the number of people with private doctors who sought emergency room care. The study's authors suggest several reasons for the trend, such as an aging population, a growing number of time-sensitive medical treatments that can be performed only in an ER, complications from medical and surgical treatments, and the difficulty of obtaining a timely appointment with a private physician.