The Trumpcare Catch-22: Create jobs but repeal the ACA


New jobs are in the healthcare industry

Today, the healthcare industry employs 1 in 9 Americans, as compared to 2000, when it employed 1 in 12 Americans. Since the 2007 recession, 35% of our nation's job growth has come through the healthcare industry.

As health insurance coverage expanded in 2014 under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the influx of federal dollars also created new jobs. Beyond that, the wave of newly-insured Americans and overall growth of the healthcare industry gave hospitals, universities, and companies even more reason to invest in new staff.

The West Virginia University health system just opened a 10-story medical tower and hired 2,000 new employees. In Philadelphia, Geisinger Health System has hired over 2,200 employees since last July, and it’s still trying to fill 2,000 additional jobs across its 12 hospitals. The UC Health system in Colorado is building 3 new hospitals in the state.

Repeal Obamacare, protect our jobs

President Donald Trump and Congressional Republicans are working hard to fulfill the dual campaign promises of creating jobs while also repealing the ACA.  An ACA repeal will cause the number of uninsured Americans to spike, reduce the number of Americans able to access the healthcare system, halt the influx of government spending on healthcare, and reduce the need for more healthcare professionals.  This repeal, both directly and indirectly, will interfere with the promise of job growth.

The Republican-backed American Health Care Act sought to roll back the ACA’s Medicaid expansion, although they have yet to craft a comprehensive plan to repeal and replace the ACA without leaving millions uninsured.

America’s huge investment in health care has provided high-paying jobs, causing many to worry over potential cuts in federal health spending.  These jobs saw opportunities arise for skilled and unskilled workers of diverse backgrounds, and the ACA marketplaces have also created extensive employment prospects.

Linda Gonzalez, a 31-year-old mother of two, was among the thousands of enrollment counselors hired to help Americans sign up for health insurance in 2014.  Gonzalez, a college graduate, makes more than $40,000 a year working at an AltaMed enrollment center. Families rely on her to help them secure health coverage, while she counts on this job to support her.  “A lot of people depend on this,” she said recently. “It’s something I do worry about.”

Let us know.

Are you concerned about how an ACA repeal might affect your practice?  If patients were to lose benefits for your services, how would you adapt?

Read more:

Chad Terhune, Our Costly Addiction to Health Care Jobs, The New York Times (Apr 22, 2017).

© 2017 Jackson LLP