Don't expect much of an economic boost, if any, from Republican efforts to undermine and eliminate President Barack Obama's signature achievement. A new study shows just the opposite.
With all the oxygen in the media room sucked up by Russiagate, most Americans don’t realize that Republicans are continuing in their effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act. If they succeed, it would mean 14 million people would lose insurance next year and up to 24 million by 2026, according to the Congressional Budget Office. All in pursuit of a big tax cut for the wealthy. But the damage doesn’t stop there.
According to a new report from the nonpartisan Commonwealth Fund and the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Mason University, repeal could cost nearly a million lost jobs by 2026. It could also cause an economic downturn in nearly every state.
Hardest hit would be New York and Pennsylvania, losing 86,000 and 85,000 jobs respectively. The report estimates Washington state would lose 7,800 jobs — including 5,300 in the health sector — as early as next year if repeal succeeds (it has passed the House and a companion repeal bill is being secretly drafted in the Senate).
“The (Republican repeal) would raise employment and economic activity at first, but lower them in the long run,” the report reads. “It initially raises the federal deficit when taxes are repealed, leading to 864,000 more jobs in 2018. In later years, reductions in support for health insurance cause negative economic effects.
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“By 2026, 924,000 jobs would be lost, gross state products would be $93 billion lower, and business output would be $148 billion less. About three-quarters of jobs lost (725,000) would be in the health care sector. States which expanded Medicaid would experience faster and deeper economic losses.”
An analysis early this year states that repealing even some elements of the ACA, such as the Medicaid expansion and premium tax credits, could kill 2.6 million jobs and reduce gross state products of $1.5 trillion over five years nationwide. The new report goes more in depth.
Last December, a report by researchers at the University of California Berkeley focused on the effect of repeal only in the Golden State. Looking at the Republicans’ “repeal and delay” strategy, they found the cost could be 200,000 jobs and more than $20 billion in total gross state product (the state’s total GSP was $2.6 trillion in 2016).
And none of this gets at the individual misery of people who couldn’t buy insurance or are thrown off Medicaid. Several studies, including a pioneering one by Sen. Elizabeth Warren when she was at Harvard, show that medical emergencies and medical costs are the leading cause of personal bankruptcies.
It’s a high price to pay to give more tax cuts to people who least need them.
Today’s Econ Haiku:
Uber the pirate
But will execs walk the plank?
So jolly, Roger