Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Helath Care and the Economy, Health care employment -Does Health Care Hurt or Harm the Economy?

President Obama has repeatedly said health costs undermine global competitiveness. But while thinking globally, he may be forgetting what is happening locally. As I observe in my book, Obama, Doctors, and Health Reform, the health sector is often the only growing segment in many local economies.

In chapter six, “Another View, Positive Impact of Private Practice on the Economy of Georgia, I cite a study by the Georgia Medical Association, in which it was shown each practicing physician directly or indirectly supported or generated.

• 13 additional jobs
• $640,000 in personal income
• $1.5 billion in total economic activity
• More than $1.2 billion in state revenues
• $1.5 billion in local government revenues.

And in chapter 17, “ A View of Chief Executive Officer of the Texas Medical Association,” Lou Goodman, the CEO, cites studies indicating that each family physician has a total economic impact of $2.9 billion, in Florida each family physicians accounts for an impact $3.9 billion, in Ohio $2.4 billion and in Texas $5.4 billion.

These are numbers not be sneezed at. And in the Wall Street Journal, I read that the health care industry has surpassed the auto industry as the largest employer and revenue generator in that beleaguered state. Now out of the Wall Street Journal blog comes this report.

July 14, 2009

Health Care Job Growth: Not Just Doctors and Nurses

By Jacob Goldstein

We didn’t have to read the new jobs report from Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers to know that health care’s going to add a lot of jobs over the next several years.

But we were interested in the report’s finding that the biggest job growth of any category in the economy would come not for doctors, nurses, or nursing home workers, but for a broadly defined group called “other medical services and dentists.”

The report defines that group as “a broad category including the ever-expanding home health care, outpatient care, and medical and diagnostic laboratories subsectors,” and projects more than 2 million new jobs per year for the group, on average, between 2008 and 2016.

A separate projection looks at the growth of health-related jobs versus all other occupations between 2000 and 2016. The finding: 12% growth for “other occupations”; 35% growth for “health practitioners”; and 48% growth for “health care support.” Health care support includes physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, medical social workers and home health care aides, the report says.

The projections are based on current trends and don’t account for any changes that may come from the Washington health-reform debate, by the way


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