AHCA could cost 725k healthcare jobs

The American Health Care Act could cost the U.S. economy nearly 1 million jobs by 2026, with most of the job losses concentrated in the healthcare sector, according to a report from The Commonwealth Fund.

The legislation, if passed without changes from the version approved by the House May 4, would at first stimulate the economy and increase employment by repealing taxes and increasing government spending, according to the report. However, with time and less financial support for individuals to buy healthcare coverage, the legislation is expected to ultimately yield negative economic effects, according to the report.

Using an economic forecasting and policy analysis model, researchers project the law to cost the U.S. economy 924,000 jobs by 2026, with roughly 725,000 of those jobs coming from the healthcare sector. Gross state product would be $93 billion lower than expected under current law and business output would be $148 billion less, according to The Commonwealth Fund.

Researchers found Medicaid expansion states would likely be hit the hardest by the ACHA. New York would lead in job losses, losing roughly 86,000 jobs by 2026, with 61,800 of those jobs coming from healthcare. Pennsylvania would follow close behind, losing about 84,900 jobs by 2026, 52,500 of which would come from healthcare. The analysis suggests just four states would experience some small job growth: Colorado, Hawaii, Utah and Washington.

"[T]he AHCA could accentuate job loss and economic contraction. Combined with major increases in the number of uninsured, this could contribute to a period of economic and medical hardship in the U.S.," the authors wrote. "From a national policy perspective, it may be more useful to develop countercyclical policies that strengthen employment and the economy during times of contraction."

Read the full report here.


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