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The ad in Politico, sponsored by the American Hospital Association, has a provocative headline: “Health Care is the One Sector of the U.S. Economy Actually Creating Jobs. Why Hurt It?”
Good question. In a bleak economy, healthcare has been a bright spot. The AHA points out that 89,000 jobs were created at hospitals in 2011, 9,800 of them in December alone. But there is a threat to the momentum: Potential cuts from the House-passed legislation (H.R. 3630) addressing Social Security, unemployment insurance, and physician payments and more possible cuts from sequestration could mean almost 278,000 jobs are eliminated over the next 10 years, according to a new study conducted for the AHA. More than two-thirds of hospital spending goes to pay staff, so payment cuts could eliminate those jobs and the people who depend on them. Yikes. That means healthcare information companies, right? This is getting personal!
As your lawmakers are scrambling to fix the problems of the world, tell them to reject hospital cuts that affect caregivers and other workers, the AHA urges. We agree. Throw out the dirty bathwater. Keep the healthy baby.