Do All Healthcare Reform Paths Lead to Economic Ruin?

America Recession Dollar Sign Concept

Healthcare Reform Proposals by Both Parties Could Hurt Coverage, Jobs

As the healthcare reform bill proposed by President Donald Trump is currently making its way through the Senate, alternatives to the Republican healthcare act are propping up, but could potentially harm jobs if instituted.

The biggest brawl in the Senate currently revolves around the healthcare bill and its effect on outcomes for millions of Americans. The Congressional Budget Office scored the bill and found that 14 million fewer Americans would receive coverage by 2025. However, that was before the Senate made its revisions, meaning the number may in fact be higher.

Democrats, naturally, are opposed to such a high reduction in Medicaid enrollees, while Republicans believe that able-bodied Americans can work around the loss of coverage through employment benefits.

On the flip side, some states across the country are considering implementing programs that would counteract the new Republican bill and instead form a single-payer healthcare system. These types of talks are happening in heavily Democratic states like California and Washington.

California specifically sparks interest as it is the largest, richest state in the Union and has total Democratic control throughout its state legislature, as well as governorship.

Some are concerned, however, that while a “Medicaid-for-all” model would provide universal coverage, the hit to the economy could be dramatic.

While the costs would likely be offset due to the reduction in premiums and other expenses related to the current system, the state would have massive bargaining power against hospitals and other sectors in the healthcare industry. As such, jobs may be cut and salaries reduced in the industry if the state leverages its hefty influence in such a way as to reduce the profit of these privately-owned enterprises by wide margins.

The job losses wouldn’t stop there, either. Insurance companies would effectively be shut out, other than the ones who would take on administrative duties. As such, they could potentially see massive layoffs as they have to withdraw from the most populous state in the country.

But bringing in a single-payer healthcare system would bring California closer to many other developed countries in the western world that have long had universal coverage, like Canada and the U.K.

Sources

As Senate dithers on health-care bill, here’s how states are edging closer to single-payer,” CNBC, June 26, 2017.

Categories: Government Cutbacks, News

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