AHA: Hospitals a $2T Economic Driver
"About 60% of the money spent on hospital care goes to the wages of the staff. If you were going to spend that $1 at Wal-Mart, a lot of that $1 goes to China. Healthcare is different because it stays in the local economy and it has a high multiplier effect."
Richard (Buz) Cooper, MD, director of the Center for the Future of the Healthcare Workforce at New York Institute of Technology, says there are worse things to spend money on than healthcare.
"The reality is healthcare is a major industry," Cooper wrote in an email exchange with HealthLeaders Media. "Our problem is not that there's too much. It's that when there's more, social justice demands that it be distributed across income groups, and this happens in a much more equitable manner than transportation, food or housing and therefore entails greater transfers of wealth and taxes."
"But think about it. Take healthcare from Pittsburgh and you have just another Rust Belt town. Try doing it in New York or Philadelphia or Houston, and others," Cooper wrote.
"This is what America does. And it creates jobs, well-paying jobs—jobs with upward mobility, jobs that pay taxes that support schools and other important services. Healthcare accounts for about 10% of [all] jobs, but 20% of new jobs. This is the future. Don't kill it."
John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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