Supercommittee inaction could put healthcare jobs at risk

The American Academy of Actuaries (AAA) is urging the Congressional "supercommitteee" to slow down the growth of healthcare spending both inside and outside Medicare. However, doing so could put jobs at stake, reports Kaiser Health News.

According to a letter sent by the primary lobby for actuaries to the committee, "achieving long-term sustainability for Medicare will require slowing the growth in overall health spending, not simply shifting costs from one payer to another." The letter was penned by Edwin Hustead, who is chairman of the AAA's Medicare Steering Committee.

Meanwhile, a new study by the consulting firm Tripp Umbach concluded if the committee fails to reach consensus on budget cuts by the end of this year, Medicare could be subjected to an overall 2 percent cut in 2013. That could lead to the loss of 194,522 hospital and related jobs.

"As Congress looks for ways to cut the deficit, we urge lawmakers to first, do no harm," said American Hospital Association CEO Rich Umbdenstock in a AHA News Now brief.

For more information:
- read the Kaiser Health News article
- Read the AHA News Now article
- check out the analysis (.pdf)