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It has been called "a ticking time bomb;" the nation’s emergency care system is on the brink of failure. 90% of states get poor to near-failing grades in a recent nationwide report. The American College of Emergency Physicians have given the United States a D- grade for Americans’ access to emergency care. The College said that the emergency care system was "fraught with significant challenges and under more stress than ever before."

As the economy continues to falter, more cost cut-backs are inevitable, which will continue to erode the system. This exposes yet another area in which we are vulnerable and unprepared for a major disaster, such as 9/11 or Hurricane Katrina. In an increasingly dangerous world, we cannot afford to wait and let the market fix this problem.

The nation simply has too many patients and too few resources to meet the demands of an expanding and aging population. The number of emergency room visits has risen by 32% over the past decade as the number of emergency rooms has dropped by 7%.

Without the enactment of a comprehensive health care reform program that focuses on emergency departments; there is no relief in sight for the deteriorating emergency care system. The emergency care system is the most over-looked part of the system, and is the most important part in our times of need. The combination of factors that have led to this sad state of affairs will only increase the potential for medical malpractice, and injury to patients. The emergency care system is on life-support, and it needs emergency care now.

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