Commentary

New study: ACA repeal would be the true job killer

Obamacare: Repeal, amend, replace

Image: Adobe Stock

Despite the fact that 30 million people would become uninsured within two years of repeal, President-Elect Trump and the GOP-led Congress remain committed to repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), even though they have yet to come up with a replacement plan. If the impact of repeal on peoples’ lives won’t slow down lawmakers, perhaps this information will: according to a new report from George Washington University and the Commonwealth Fund, the repeal of the ACA would have disastrous economic consequences for the entire country.

If the current ACA repeal effort moves forward, Congress and the Trump administration would kill 2.6 million jobs by 2019, rising to a total of 3 million jobs lost by 2021. Close to a million of these jobs are in the health care arena, with the rest coming from industries like construction, real estate, retail trade, finance, insurance, and the public sector.

North Carolina would see some of the highest job losses with an estimated total of 76,000 by 2019. A full 97% of these losses would come from the private sector.

In addition to losing jobs, between 2019 and 2023, North Carolina could see fewer dollars coming into the state, including a loss of nearly $25 billion in federal funds. This would result in diminished economic activity, including losses of $67.2 billion in business output and $39.4 billion in gross state product.

What’s more, over this period, repeal of the ACA could force our state to lose out on $1.2 billion in state and local taxes—revenue no longer available for the state to invest in priorities like education, teacher pay, and economic development. And these devastating impacts would come despite the state’s previous refusal to expand Medicaid. Fortunately, Governor Cooper has shown leadership and pledged to close the coverage gap, which could create up to 40,000 jobs by 2020.

While opponents of the ACA have called the law a job-killer, the private sector has actually grown every month since the law was passed in 2010. Here’s to hoping the Congress doesn’t become the job killer—let’s save our economy and North Carolina lives instead.

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