January 19, 2011

health-reformThe repeal of the Affordable Care Act is up for a vote today in the House, and Republicans seem to be dead-set on doing away with the current legislation.  They claim the law would cost the country 650,000 jobs.  This is a shaky claim, especially with the mounting counter-evidence supported by economists.

The Congressional Budget Office says that initially, the law could lead to some employers not hiring as many low-wage workers, but they point out this will also slow the increase in health care costs, leaving those employers with more capital to expand their businesses.  The budget office also claims that 30 million people would gain coverage with the Affordable Care Act, again creating jobs.

White House officials advocate this law has the potential to create over 300,000 jobs by containing costs of employee health benefits, as well.  Importantly, when Massachusetts instated a health insurance mandate, there was an increase in health insurance coverage, as well as an increase in health care utilization, which resulted in the creation of jobs.  It is hoped that this would be a similar trend with the Affordable Care Act.

The Department of Health and Human Services released a report yesterday showing 129 million Americans under age 65 have some pre-existing medical condition that could lead them to be denied health care coverage without protections that would be afforded to them by the new health law.  This is another argument for health care reform and job creation.

What are your thoughts about health care reform and its potential repeal by the House?