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Obamacare's Medicaid expansion may create Oregon-like ER strain

Bloomberg, January 3, 2014

Emergency rooms may be a preferred choice for care among 3.9 million people newly enrolled in the U.S. Medicaid program for the poor, according to a study that suggests Obamacare's costs may be higher than expected. The concern is being raised by economists who said a state Medicaid expansion in Oregon five years ago led newly insured patients to visit ERs 40 percent more often than the uninsured. That finding, published in the journal Science, runs counter to government assumptions that the newly insured would choose lower-cost options for care, such as doctors' offices.