GOP healthcare bill could cost economy nearly 1M jobs, many of them in health sector

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By 2026, 924,000 jobs would be lost, gross state products would be $93 billion lower and business output would be $148 billion less under the American Health Care Act, researchers predict. (Getty/AndreyPopov)

If it becomes law, the American Health Care Act could rob the U.S. economy of nearly 1 million jobs by 2026, most of which would be in healthcare, according to new research.

The research, conducted by George Washington University and The Commonwealth Fund, noted that the GOP’s healthcare bill would start off by adding 864,000 jobs and growing state economies, since its repeal of Affordable Care Act taxes begin right away, swelling the federal deficit.

However, as health coverage-related spending reductions phase in, the picture gets grimmer. By 2026, 924,000 jobs would be lost, gross state products would be $93 billion lower and business output would be $148 billion less, the researchers predict.

RELATED: AHCA's Medicaid cuts will strain states, Urban Institute says

For the health sector specifically, the negative economic effects of the law would be felt right away, with a predicted 24,000-job reduction in 2018. By 2026, that number would swell to 725,000 lost jobs in healthcare—a quarter of predicted overall job losses.

Conversely, most other employment sectors would see initial gains that then drop off and turn to losses.

The effects of the bill also would not be equally felt across the country, the researchers note. Generally, states that expanded Medicaid under the ACA would experience faster and deeper economic losses. Given that they earned more federal funds, these states stand to lose more when Medicaid matching rates fall.

The 10 states predicted to experience the highest job losses by 2026 are: New York, Pennsylvania, Florida, Michigan, Illinois, New Jersey, Ohio, North Carolina, California and Tennessee.

The AHCA, researchers note, is not the only mechanism that would slash Medicaid funding, as the Trump administration’s budget proposal proposes an additional $610 billion in cuts to the program.

“Such deep cuts would further deepen the employment and economic losses discussed in this study,” they write.

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