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Friday, January 15, 2010

Health reform is an economic stimulus

A new year has begun-but our economy is still acting like it's 2009. With the latest unemployment rate unchanged at 10%, all Americans are still feeling the effects of the lack of job growth. President Obama has made this a top priority, and it is clear that many are thirsty for new economic opportunities.

You might wonder: What does this have to do with health reform?

According to a new report by the Center for American Progress, health reform will create up to 4 million jobs:

The paper finds that health care reform could increase the number of jobs in the United States by about 250,000 to 400,000 per year over the coming decade.

At first glance, that number might seem extremely high, but these jobs are not limited to the health care industry. The report notes that,

Reform will create jobs across industries: By 2016, reform will create more than 200,000 new jobs in manufacturing and nearly 900,000 jobs in services.

How is this possible?

One reason has to do with health care costs. Insurance costs are rising for firms, and they therefore have to let go of employees to keep afloat. This will change in reform and according to the Center for American Progress:

One important way to create jobs is to slow the growth of medical spending. If health care cost increases slow down, then businesses will find it more profitable to expand employment, and workers will more readily move into those new jobs.

There are many reasons why Americans will benefit from reform, and now we can add jobs and economic improvement to that list.