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Repeal could cause job losses

The Republican-controlled Congress recently took its first steps to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Therefore, without satisfactory replacement thereof, heavy job losses are expected to follow.

Wayne Rowe, CEO of Quality of Life Health Services is concerned. This facility provides primary care to the poor. Thus, without the ACA, this entity would have a negative cash flow.

The Commonwealth Fund is based in New York. It is headed by a former Obama administration official. This fund promotes health care improvement. A report by the fund estimates that 28,000 Alabama jobs could be lost if Obamacare in not replaced. 31% would come from the health care industry. 12% would come from construction, while retail jobs would decline by 10% statewide.

The study on repeal also estimates that the state of Alabama would lose $465 million in state and local taxes. Furthermore, a loss of $26 billion in business output between 2019 and 2023 is expected if the ACA is not replaced.

Dropping the Affordable Care Act would place greater financial strains on state hospitals because these institutions are already cash-strapped.

Other job losses that would occur are in California, with 334,000 positions lost and Florida adding 181,000 to this figure. In addition, Texas could lose 175,000 positions as well as Pennysylvania, New York and Ohio creating 125,000 additional unemployed Americans.

Senator Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, has drafted a replacement plan. It is called “Obamacare Replacement Act”. He expressed concern that repealing Obama’s statute without a replacement in hand could cause turmoil in the insurance market.

Senator Susan Collins, R-Maine has similar concerns. She wants to see a detailed replacement plan before voting on repeal.

On Friday 13 January 2017, Congressional Republicans made the first move to repeal Obamacare. The House voted 227-198 in favour of the repeal.

Republicans are eager to see how their party will redraft the $3 trillion a year healthcare system.

There have been disagreements about the method of payment for the GOP replacement plan. Paul Ryan proposed taxing part of the value of some health insurance provided by employers. Many Republicans feel uncomfortable about Ryan’s suggested method of payment for the healthcare plan.