Conclusions: Contrary to popular perception, the least acculturated Hispanic individuals are the least likely to use the ED. As acculturation level rises, so does one’s likelihood of using the ED, particularly for nonurgent visits.
Obamacare what the Affordable Care Act means for patients and physicians The Affordable Care Act’s core achievement is to make all Americans insurable, by requiring insurers to accept all applicants at rates based on population averages regardless of health status. The act also increases coverage by allowing states to expand Medicaid (the social healthcare program for families and people with low income and resources) to cover everyone near the poverty line, and by subsidizing private insurance for people who are not poor but who do not have workplace coverage. The act allows most people to keep the same kind of insurance that they currently have, and it does not change how private insurance pays physicians and hospitals. Although the act falls short of achieving truly universal coverage, nine million uninsured people have received coverage so far. Market reforms have not hurt the insurance industry’s profitability, prices for individual insurance have been lower than expected, and government costs so far have been less than initially projected. The act expands several ongoing pilot programs in Medicare that reform how doctors and hospitals are paid, but it does not directly change how private insurers pay healthcare providers. Nevertheless, it has set into motion market dynamics that are affecting medical practice, such as limiting insurance networks to fewer providers and requiring patients to pay for more treatment costs out of pocket. In response, many hospitals and physicians are forming closer and larger affiliations. Further time and study are needed to learn whether these evolutionary changes will achieve their goals without harming the doctor-patient relationship.