Saturday, October 3, 2009

Why Shouldn't Health Care Job Growth Be Considered An Asset?

Preface: It has always mystified me why the health care industry should not be considered an asset to our economy? Yet the Obama administration constantly pictures health care as a liability – both domestically and internationally.

This subject comes to mind because of this short piece in the WSJ Blog.

Still Going: Health-Care Job Growth Continues

By Jacob Goldstein

“Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: As jobs continued to disappear around the country last month, the number of health-care jobs kept growing.”

“As usual, the month-to-month gain wasn’t huge — about 19,000 new health-care jobs were added during September, bringing the total to 13.67 million, according to the seasonally adjusted estimate out today from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.”
“But over the past year, with consistent gains, the sector has added about 300,000 jobs. During the same period, the total number of nonfarm jobs nationwide fell by about 6 million, to 131 million.”

“Every subcategory within health care showed job growth in September. The biggies: Doctors’ offices added 5,300 jobs, hospitals added 4,600 slots, home health-care services added 3,400 jobs and nursing-care facilities added 2,100.”

In Obama, Doctors, and Health Reform, I have a chapter on the positive economic impact of private practice on the state of Georgia.

The chapter contains this data.

Each private 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

• $15. Billion in local government revenues.

My chapter concludes:

“President Obama and other health system critics may say health costs cause economic disharmony by causing a drain on other economic sectors. But a study of private practice in the Georgia economy establishes this concrete reality as an unequivocal fact: practicing doctors have a positive economic impact in spite of doctors’ perceived harmful autonomy. We tend not to think of physicians as employers, and as suppliers of patients to local health system, who are often the biggest economic game in town. It’s time we did.”

Dr. Richard Reece is author, blogger, speaker, and reform expert. Dr. Reece’s latest book, Obama, Doctors, and Health Reform ( is available at,, and for $31.95 (hardcover), $21.95 (softcover), and $6.95 (electronic). For information on speaking fees and arrangements, call 860-395-1501.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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