what kind of an impact will universal healthcare have on jobs?

healthcare_2020

I’m going to be honest, I don’t know what got me thinking of healthcare’s relationship to jobs. All I know is that one day I had the question, will medicare for all get rid of health care and administrative jobs? I thought that simply googling this question would bring me an answer. However, this is a very complicated issue. We all know how complex healthcare is, no matter how simple politicians make it seem. This specifically has so many different “expert analyses” that give different answers that have significant effects of one of the boldest (only bold in America) policy ideas. In this post, I’m going to try to simplify it down. What is being said about universal healthcare’s impact on jobs? What’s credible? Are politicians addressing this? Like always, I’m going to included resources and links down below and I urge you to read the resource disclaimer I provided specifically for this topic.


disclaimer: This post is not about the idea of universal healthcare. It is about how universal healthcare would impact jobs. You can click here to read about a non-partisan overview of universal healthcare. 

multiple arguments. The fact that there are several claims as to universal healthcare’s impact on jobs and the labor market is something I want to highlight in this post. I’m going to give overviews of both arguments because I think it’s important to understand both before we can move on to a definitive opinion and view. Then I will give my own opinion and the “definitive” answer that I came up with while researching.

job loss. The first belief is that Universal Healthcare will create job loss. The idea is that thousands of health insurance and administrative jobs will no longer exist and will be replaced with the automation of health care by the government. However, a lot of people think that rather than overlook Medicare for All (M4A) because of the potential job loss, it can be done while addressing the labor impact. Several versions of legislation exist that do address job loss while providing for training and relief programs. (we will call this argument #1)

job creation. The other side of the conversation is that while some insurance companies may lose jobs, there will actually be a greater net positive in job creation. That essentially means that despite some loss, overall there will be more jobs and economic growth. Additionally, the effect of the M4A will help small businesses create more (and higher-paying) jobs because they won’t have to worry about health care benefits that weigh them down. Even further, M4A would provide a few million more jobs as healthcare access is expanded to even more people nationwide. The impact would reach hospitals, healthcare workers, small businesses, etc. (we will call this argument #2)

final answer. Not only are a lot of articles and information supporting argument #1 outdated and unrepresentative of the current state of M4A legislation, but most people don’t cite it as a problem regarding the idea of universal healthcare. The main claim is that politicians and M4A don’t address the issue. Contrastingly, argument #2 looks at the greater benefit to all Americans and the long term economic impact. After the research I conducted, and the countless articles and reports I read, I have come to the conclusion that M4A’s job impact is actually a positive one and shouldn’t be used to disregard M4A’s place in the future of the country. However, I encourage everyone to read the links I provided that cover both arguments so that you may come to your own sound conclusion.

does probable creation of some jobs trump probable loss of others? So despite that, there is the question if health care insurance jobs that are lost are worth not having universal healthcare coverage? Well, I think that this is an ethical question but one with a clear answer. M4A would actually make sure that those who lost their jobs weren’t left completely stranded. As I alluded to before, they would make the transition better and created higher-paying jobs that would allow people who lost their jobs to integrate back into the labor force. And the overall economic growth would be beneficial to everyone in the nation.

resources disclaimer. I tried to be as encompassing as I could in providing resources and opinion pieces. Some of them refer to each other and some even supply conflicting information. I highlighted the most helpful links that I used but I want to emphasize the importance of doing real research that illustrates the entirety of the discussion.


Please do not hesitate to comment questions or resource suggestions down below, even if you just want to start a conversation.

Resources:

https://www.politico.com/news/agenda/2019/11/25/medicare-for-all-jobs-067781

https://www.salon.com/2020/03/14/medicare-for-all-would-lead-to-job-boom-experts-say/

https://www.who.int/health_financing/universal_coverage_definition/en/

https://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2018/article/healthcare-jobs-and-the-great-recession.htm

https://www.peri.umass.edu/publication/item/1127-economic-analysis-of-medicare-for-all

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