September 12, 2012

New Report Finds Potential Medicare Cuts Could Lead to More Than 55,000 Jobs Lost in Florida

A new report found up to 55,340 health care jobs could be lost in Florida by 2021 as a result of the 2 percent sequester of Medicare spending mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011.  Nationally, more than 760,000 jobs would be lost according to the report released by the American Hospital Association (AHA), the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Nurses Association (ANA).

The report, produced by Tripp Umbach, a firm specializing in conducting economic impact studies, measures the anticipated effect of these cuts in Medicare payments on health care providers and other industries. The model reflects how reductions in Medicare payment for health care services will lead to direct job losses in the health care sector, reduced purchases by health care entities of goods and services from other businesses which in turn will lay-off workers, and reduced household purchases by workers who lose their jobs.  As the impact of these cuts ripples through the economy, jobs will be lost across many sectors beyond health care.

"Florida ranks second highest among all 50 states in the number of potential jobs lost," said Florida Hospital Association President Bruce Rueben. "As hospitals are forced to lay off health care workers, services will be reduced and access to quality care for all Floridians will be negatively impacted." 

This model estimates that, during the first year of the sequester, more than 496,000 jobs will be lost across the nation.  The report found that the job losses will affect many economic sectors beyond health care.

The health care sector has long been an economic mainstay providing stability and growth even during times of recession.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that health care created 169,800 jobs in the first half of 2012 and accounted for one out of every five new jobs created this year.