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Healthcare Job Growth Continues for Now

Chelsea Rice, for HealthLeaders Media, November 5, 2012

A "repeal of the Affordable Care Act, in terms of jobs, would create chaos and uncertainty in the insurance industry, and will absolutely have a negative impact on job growth," says Ellis.

"There have been two things that have been said in the presidential debates leading up to the election: 1) that it kills jobs and 2) that it is a government takeover of the industry. And if you look at Massachusetts, we have a robust private healthcare delivery system, we have several insurance companies making profits, rapidly growing number of workers in the hospital and medical services industries. So, I don't see the argument. I don't see why those statements have any merit."

If healthcare reform does continue to its full implementation in 2014, though, another view holds that job growth will eventually slow.

Jonathan Skinner, PhD, economist and senior author at The Dartmouth Atlas Project, warns that although there has been steady job growth in healthcare, we cannot expect that with such a focus on reducing cost in the industry, that job creation will not start to decline in the next few years.

"It's hard to reduce overall costs while keeping hiring levels and labor expenses high as well," says Skinner. "Even with improved process efficiencies, if we do not see a reduction in the rate of job growth in healthcare, it means we haven't yet gotten serious about cutting costs. The biggest component of cost is payroll."

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