The Republican health care bill is bad for patients — and for the economy.
The Republican health care bill would almost immediately kill 1 million American jobs, another huge negative for the unpopular proposal backed by Donald Trump, Speaker Paul Ryan, and Majority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell.
The GOP bill rolls back the Medicaid expansion enacted under Obamacare, and public health experts at George Washington University estimate that doing so would force 912,000 health care workers out of their jobs.
The Medicaid expansion has led to jobs for people in county health systems, including rural hospitals and people who help recipients to enroll in the program, as well as helping to administer it.
If the expansion is gone, those jobs will disappear. That is in addition to the millions of people who will lose access to vital health care, many of them in regions of the country that Donald Trump won by a large margin.
According to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), it could be even worse than that. EPI determined that 1.2 million jobs would be lost under the Republican plan, and that losing health care benefits would mean "people would have less money to spend on other basic necessities like food and rent." The loss of those revenues at grocery stores and other businesses would lead to job cuts.
EPI found that repealing the Medicaid expansion would lead to unemployment losses in 18 states, including New Mexico, Kentucky, Oregon, Montana, West Virginia, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Colorado, Arizona, Washington, Louisiana, Nevada, North Carolina, Vermont, Maryland, Ohio, Michigan, and Delaware. States that chose to adopt the expansion would be hurt more by cutbacks, but all states would suffer.
"The most important reason to oppose repealing the ACA is the 20 million Americans who would lose health insurance," said EPI Research Director Josh Bivens in a statement. "But layered on top of this loss is a potential macroeconomic shock that would likely significantly affect job growth."
The Chartis Center for Rural Health recently released a report on possible closures that would be forced by the passage of the Republican legislation.
Michael Topchik, national leader at Chartis and senior vice president at iVantage Health Analytics wrote, "If the loss in revenue pushes more rural hospitals into closure, the associated job loss could be much higher. Combined this would create a $4.1 billion drag on the nation’s GDP from the rural providers affected."
The Republican proposal is already well underwater in public opinion polls, but much of that negative sentiment is about the loss of health insurance that would occur and the ripple effect of death that would follow.
The prospect of massive job losses and a halt to the economic recovery that began under former President Barack Obama is another warning sign of the bill's looming disaster.