Medicare Cuts Could Lead to 55K Jobs Lost in Florida

By  //  September 14, 2012

Healthcare Policy

(VIDEO By  ElsGlobalMedicalNews)

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA–According to a report conducted by Tripp Umbach, a firm specializing in conducting economic impact studies, and released on Wednesday by the American Hospital Association (AHA), American Medical Association (AMA), and American Nurses Association (ANA), the U.S. economy could lose as many as 766,000 jobs in health care and related fields by 2021 as a result of the 2 percent sequester of Medicare spending mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011 if Congress allows the mandate to proceed.

Mandated Medicare cuts could result in over 760,000 jobs lost in healthcare and related sectors by 2021 in the U.S, with 55,000 projected for Florida.

The report examines the potential impact of the Budget Control Act’s sequestration process, which resulted from the 2011 Congressional debt supercommittee’s failure to reach a debt deal last year.  That failure of the supercommittee to agree on how to cut at least $1.2 trillion from the federal budget triggered a fail-safe mechanism mandated by the debt bill to automatically cut $1.2 trillion from federal spending over 10 years, which includes an annual 2% cut to Medicare providers. In light of the intense bipartisanism in Washington and the uncertainty of the upcoming national elections, pundits are skeptical that Congress can reach a new agreement to reduce the deficit and stop or revise the mandate before taking effect on January 1, 2013.

The reality of the 2% cut in Medicare is brought to bear in the report in which researchers forecast that more than 496,000 jobs will be lost during the first year of sequestration, and these cuts will impact health care sectors in every state. These job-loss numbers are shocking, and become even more striking when examined at the state level. California stands to lose the most jobs with an estimated loss of health sector and related  jobs of 50,785 in 2013 and more than 78,000 by 2021, according to the report. Florida ranks second highest among all 50 states with projected job losses of over 35,000 the first year and over 55,000 by 2021.

In an AMA press release, AMA President Dr. Jeremy Lazarus said, “This new report shows that the 2% sequester of Medicare spending will lead to the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs, and, coupled with the looming 27% Medicare physician payment cut, will hurt patient access to care and will inject more uncertainty into our Medicare system.”