A new report out by The Commonwealth Fund has found that the American Health Care Act passed by the House and now in the Senate, could result in a loss of nearly one million jobs by 2026.
From the report:
Goal: To determine the consequences of the AHCA on employment and economic activity in every state.
Methods: We compute changes in federal spending and revenue from 2018 to 2026 for each state and use the PI+ model to project the effects on states’ employment and economies.
Findings and Conclusions: The AHCA 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 It initially raises the federal deficit when taxes are repealed, leading to 864,000 more jobs in 2018. 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. About three-quarters of jobs lost (725,000) would be in the health care sector. States which expanded Medicaid would experience faster and deeper economic losses.
Wednesday’s report reads:
Our estimates are based on changes in federal funding gained or lost to states, consumers, and businesses. The AHCA significantly reduces federal funding for Medicaid. It lowers federal match funding for the 31 states and District of Columbia that expanded Medicaid, encouraging them to discontinue their expansions.
Health care jobs account for 18 percent of the Gross Domestic Product. Losing a significant portion of those jobs would seriously impact the economy.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there has been an average of 22,000 jobs a month added in the healthcare sector in 2017. The 2016 average gain was 32,000. Those numbers translate to 329,000 jobs added over the past year.
The impact on the economy would inevitably bleed out into other sectors. Throw a million people out of work and they won’t have the resources to purchase automobiles, home entertainment, electronics, and all those extras that make an economy boom. Throw them out of work and they will join those who can’t afford to pay for health insurance, sending them to the ER for a bad cold they think is the flu, further escalating costs.
Estimates for the number of people who would lose their coverage range from 13 million on the low side to 23 million on the upper end. Those who would feel the impact the most would be the poor and the elderly, although the pain would spread throughout the population. Despite promises of choice, premiums would rise, effectively shutting a great number of people out of the health care market. Those who have been kicked off insurance rolls, whether it be Medicaid or traditional insurance, would be forced to rely on emergency rooms, which would then ratchet up costs across the board.
It is a bad deal for everyone except the greedy One Percent and their enablers, the GOP, who just can’t seem to be satisfied with the massive wealth already accumulated. It just isn’t enough, and they want whatever small amount average Americans have managed to put by for themselves.
The House bill as written will never pass, but Senate Republicans are behind closed doors, tinkering with a bill that they will allow no one to see: not Democrats and not the public. There have been no hearings, no invitation for public comment, no amendments, no nothing. It is a dead-of-night, secret concoction that they intend to pass by July 4. Whatever is in it, it is a sure-fire bet that it will benefit the wealthiest in the country who have plenty of money to purchase the best care. The rest of us will be left hanging out to twist in the wind.
Oh, and lest you forget, the members of Congress won’t be bound by the same restraints in obtaining health insurance. They’re covered; and that coverage is not likely to change.
If you live in a state with a Republican senator, get up right now, get on the phone and call the offices of those senators and let them know their jobs are on the line if they let anything like the House bill see the light of day. In this fight, there is no Democrat and there is no Republican. This is about the health of the American people and the health of the American economy.
Look up your senators and their contact information HERE.