According to a report published by George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health and The Commonwealth Fund, if the Better Care Reconcilliation Act (BCRA), becomes law, it could result in an economic downturn in 49 states and result in 1.5-million jobs lost.
Back on June 22, 2017, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell delivered a discussion draft of the BCRA, the Senate alternative to the American Health Care Act (AHCA) that was passed by the House of Representatives on May 4, 2017. Both bills are looking to repeal and replace–at least partially–the Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as “Obamacare.”
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) predicts that this draft of the BCRA, in its current form, will lead to 22-million-fewer insured Americans by 2026, roughly the same as the 23-million uninsured estimated for the AHCA.
The authors of the report, titled The Better Care Reconciliation Act: Economic and Employment Consequences for States, suggest that with the current BCRA proposal, every state except Hawaii will experience huge job losses and weaker economies by 2026.
The states that expand “Medicaid” will experience the biggest job losses. The 10 states that will be hit with the hardest are, in order: New York (132,000), California (117,000), Pennsylvania (110,000), Ohio (99,000), Michigan (86,000), Florida (78,000), Illinois (71,000), New Jersey (60,000), Massachusetts (54,000), and Indiana (39,000).
Those states that do not expand Medicaid, like Maine and Florida, will also experience job losses and weak economics.
Employment in the healthcare sector will be hit hardest, with 919,000 fewer jobs, and other sectors will lose jobs as well. Gross state products, similar to gross domestic product, could fall by $162 .0billion by 2026, and state business output could tumble by $265.0 billion.
The job losses will not all happen at once, since the tax repeals in the law would result in an initial period of economic growth and job creation. That said, job loss in the health sector would happen immediately, with 30,000 jobs eliminated in 2018. By 2026, 919,000 heathcare jobs could be gone.
“Although the Congressional Budget Office found that both the Senate and House bills had similar effects in increasing the number of uninsured, our analysis indicates that the Senate bill has the potential to be more damaging to states’ economies,” said Leighton Ku, Ph.D., director of the Center for Health Policy Research at the Milken Institute School of Public Health and the study’s lead author.
“The Better Care Reconciliation Act: Economic and Employment Consequences for States,” The Commonwealth Fund, July 6, 2017.
“Senate Health Bill Could Cause Loss of Nearly 1.5 Million Jobs By 2026,” YubaNet.com, July 6, 2017.