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ACA Repeal Could Cost CA 209,000 Jobs

News  |  By Doug Desjardins  
   January 09, 2017

State hires former Obama AG as outside counsel to combat expected changes

This story originally appeared in California Healthfax.

As the GOP begins efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a new study predicts the state could lose more than 200,000 jobs if the ACA is repealed.

Repeal of federal healthcare reform could eliminate nearly 209,000 jobs and cost the California economy $20.5 billion a year, according to research by the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education.

The $20.5 billion in lost revenue would result from the elimination of approximately $5 billion in federal subsidies for people who buy health plans on Covered California and the loss of more than $15 billion in funding for Medicaid expansion, the study estimated.

The job-loss estimates were based on the jobs that were created when the ACA went into effect, said Laurel Lucia, a healthcare program manager at UC Berkeley and co-author of the study.

"Hospitals, clinics, and other providers staffed up to meet increased demand as a result of the ACA and our economic modeling software estimates that many of those jobs would be lost if the ACA is repealed," said Lucia.

CA Health Exchange Girds for Uncertain Future

The majority of the job losses would be in hospitals, physician offices, labs, outpatient and ambulatory care centers, nursing homes, dentist offices, and other healthcare settings, the report noted. The loss of these jobs would result in a ripple effect of job losses in other industries.

"Our analysis takes into account the multiplier effect," said Lucia. "When healthcare workers found new jobs, their income was circulated through the community multiple times."

Additional industries ranging from food service to janitorial services to accounting and other professions would also be affected, she said.

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