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Health Care: Jobs Will Be Hard to Create

National Journal (01/25/12) Meghan McCarthy

President Barack Obama has repeatedly made it clear that he sees the health care sector as a place ripe for jobs growth. The American Association of Medical Colleges projects a shortage of 90,000 doctors over the next 10 years, while the American Nursing Association sees a potential shortage of 260,000 nurses by 2025. These shortfalls will only increase as an additional 30 million people get health insurance under the 2010 health care reform law.

However, a national work force commission established under the health care law has been chronically underfunded by Congress, and the training programs that will be needed to fix these shortages have a slim chance of obtaining any funds. Meanwhile, the medical device industry says the cost of the health care reform law is already causing layoffs. The American Hospital Association, meanwhile, warns that a coming 2% cut to Medicare and other cuts will cost them 278,000 jobs as revenue drops from Medicare and Medicaid.