Speaking of Jobs, Speaking of Health Reform

As CEA Chair Christina Romer explained this morning, while the latest jobs numbers are setback from the November numbers, the vast improvement over a year ago remains an encouraging sign that we are headed back towards the right track.  But as focused as the Obama Administration has been on turning around the job situation in the short term, there has also been a focus in setting out a "new foundation" for the American economy in the long term.

That's where health reform comes in.  A new study from Harvard University and USC economists estimates that somewhere around 2.5 to 4 million jobs could be created over the next decade if reform is passed.

Healthcare overhaul could save money and boost jobs, researchers say
Duke Helfand, Los Angeles Times - January 8, 2010

National healthcare legislation in Congress could slow the growth of medical costs, allowing employers to create 250,000 to 400,000 new jobs a year over the next decade, economists from Harvard University and USC are predicting.

Wading into the hotly debated issue of whether the legislation is a job creator or a job killer, researchers from the two universities say that the reforms under consideration would slow the rate of cost increases and free up money for companies to raise wages and hire more workers.

Specifically, healthcare savings could be achieved through proposals for greater competition in insurance markets, better coordination of care and shrinking administrative expenses, they said in a report to be released today. With those changes, employers could then reallocate money now spent on ever-growing premiums to other business priorities.

"We could achieve huge productivity gains," said Harvard economist David Cutler, one of the study's authors and a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank.

Read the full report (pdf). 

Related Topics: Economy, Health Care
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