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March 17 2010

Job Losses from Health Reform

Nicole Kurokawa Neily

Since misery loves company, I thought it fit to pile on to my earlier comments about negative effects that current health reform proposals will have on the country. Americans for Tax Reform released an important new study today on the job losses that the nation will face as a direct result of this health care legislation. Written by David Tuerck and Paul Bachman of the Beacon Hill Institute, the study conservatively estimates that 119,000 jobs will be lost between this year and 2019 – but losses could run up to 700,000! From manufacturing to mining, forestry to finance, every sector of the economy takes a hit (in some cases, a pretty significant hit.) 

The study debunks a report written by the liberal Center for American Progress that asserted how Congress’ health care reform plans would create jobs – and interestingly, uses CAP’s own methodology.

In its executive summary, the study articulates the problem with the “health reform will create jobs” narrative: 

CAP’s claim about job creation rests on its assumption that various developments ensuing from passage of the bill – upgrades in medical technology, the promotion of preventive care and the reduction in administrative costs – would save $683 billion over ten-years and thus set in motion new incentives for firms to create jobs. The trouble is that the claimed costs savings are at odds with estimates from both Congress and the Executive Branch, which, together, are responsible for considering and ultimately implementing the legislation.

Tuerck and Bachman conclude:

The optimistic jobs outlook provided by CAP overestimates the ability of government to manage costs. There is no assurance that the federal government can cover more people by simply squeezing inefficiencies or by curbing unnecessary medical tests or revising doctor reimbursement rates. History shows otherwise. The fact that Medicare, based on a single-payer model, can theoretically deliver medical services more efficiently misses the point that the system itself is not sustainable in the long term given the demographic challenges of a graying population. 

To borrow a phrase from the 1986 movie “The Fly”: Be afraid. Be very afraid. 

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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