AHCA would destroy healthcare jobs, Commonwealth Fund says

Thousands of healthcare jobs would be lost almost immediately under the Republican-backed American Health Care Act (AHCA), with these losses increasing dramatically through 2026, according to a new study by The Commonwealth Group.

The study, which explores the economic and employment ramifications of the AHCA in each state, concluded that, if passed, the bill “would raise employment and economic activity at first, but lower them in the long run.”

“It initially raises the federal deficit when taxes are repealed, leading to 864,000 more jobs in 2018,” the report said. “In later years, reductions in support for health insurance cause negative economic effects. By 2026, 924,000 jobs would be lost, gross state products would be $93 billion lower, and business output would be $148 billion less.”

Nearly four-fifths of the jobs lost in 2026 (725,000) would be from the healthcare sector, The Commonwealth Group said, with states that have expanded Medicaid experiencing “faster and deeper economic losses.”

While all other industries in the U.S. would gain jobs through 2021, the report said, the healthcare sector would lose 24,000 jobs in 2018. After that, The Commonwealth Fund said, the number of healthcare job losses would accelerate annually:

  • 2019 – 50,000
  • 2020 – 301,000
  • 2021 – 489,000
  • 2022 – 559,000
  • 2023 – 615,000
  • 2024 – 655,000
  • 2025 – 687,000
  • 2026 – 725,000

“Health care has been one of the main areas of job growth in recent years,” the report said. “Under the AHCA, the sector would lose jobs immediately. By 2026, 725,000 fewer health sector jobs would exist. This would be a major reversal from current trends.”  

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