How the AHCA Could Cause an Economic Downturn

By Vann R. Newkirk II

If there’s any single binding policy narrative for the first five months of Donald Trump’s presidency, it’s that the president is against regulations that kill jobs. In his June 1 Rose Garden speech announcing the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement, Trump bemoaned it as a policy that “could cost Americans as much as 2.7 million lost jobs by 2025.” He’s touted his success in making deals to keep factory jobs in the country, and has claimed that his work “includ[es] a record number of resolutions to eliminate job-killing regulations.”

So how would Trump and his job-creating party feel about a law that costs a million jobs over the next decade and decreases total business activity by hundreds of billions over the same time period? They have a chance to decide just that as the Senate deliberates a reconfigured American Health Care Act, the Republican plan to replace Obamacare.

A new report from the Commonwealth Fund and George Washington University researchers Leighton Ku, Erika Steinmetz, Erin Brantley, Nikhil Holla, and Brian K. Bruen finds that the AHCA would slash total jobs by about a million, total state gross domestic products by $93 billion, and total business output by $148 billion by 2026. Most of those jobs would be shed from the health-care industry, which would contract severely over that frame. Most of the losses in economic activity would come in states that have expanded Medicaid to low-income adults under the Affordable Care Act.

The structure of the House bill that passed in May would lead to an interesting whirlwind of economic effects, according to this report. The AHCA repeals most of the taxes that supported the Affordable Care Act just about immediately, which might even act as a short-term stimulus. Between 2018 and 2020, authors predict the economy would …read more

Via:: The Atlantic


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