New Study Finds ACA will Create More Health Care Jobs

Photo of congressional leaders at signing of the Affordable Care Act.

A new report has found that claims that full implementation of President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA) will have a negative effect on health care jobs is untrue.

According to the study by the Urban Institute, which used Massachusetts as its model, ACA will actually create more opportunities for job seekers with health care experience on their resume.

Lisa Dubay, senior fellow with the Health Policy Center of the Urban Institute and lead author of the study “Will the Affordable Care Act Be a Job Killer?”, told Health Care Finance News that the transition in Massachusetts after health reform actually showed that the economy grew faster than in other parts of the country.

The report noted that Massachusetts added more health care-related jobs as a result of the insurance mandate.

Nationwide, health care workers are expected to in high demand due to the more than 3 million Americans who will have access the health insurance because of ACA, as well as an aging population.

In response to a predicted shortage of health care workers, the Obama administration has announced an additional $250 million in new funding to train primary care workers. The White House said that the initiative, along with earlier investments by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will help train and place more than 16,000 new primary care providers over the next 5 years.

The Prevention and Public Health Fund will also provide $30 million to train an additional 600 nurse practitioners and provide incentives for more part-time students looking for a career in nursing to become full-time students and earn a degree in a less time.

Meanwhile, the Department of Labor has made a number of grants available to community colleges and other institutions to prepare more workers for a career in healthcare.One of the fastest growing jobs in the sector is for personal care aides (PCAs), who provide support and care to the expanding senior population and patients with chronic disabilities and illnesses. In fact, the National Employment Law Project has predicted that PCA jobs will increase as much as 70% through the end of the decade to surpass 2 million workers. However, there are no national training standards for PCAs working in the U.S.

Jodi M. Sturgeon, president of the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute (PHI), recently called on Washington to implement certificate requirements to set a “Gold Standard” for future personal and home care.


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