The So-called Affordable Care Act and 911 Calls

There are those unintended consequences. Medically unnecessary ambulance rides soar after ACA expansion.

By 2016, two years into the expansion of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), 17.6 million previously uninsured people around the U.S. had gained health insurance coverage. But with the expansion, researchers at the University of Colorado Denver and the University of Kentucky found that ambulance dispatches for minor injuries like abrasions, minor burns and muscle sprains rose by a staggering 37% in New York City.

And why is that? “Ambulances are now cheaper than Uber/”

“Medicaid patients in particular have incredibly low out-of-pocket responsibility for ambulances,” says Friedson. “The most an ambulance ride covered under Medicaid costs the patient three dollars. If there’s a low-cost alternative to Uber to get the hospital, you’re going to take it.”