Connecting health care costs to job losses

CONNECTING HEALTH CARE COSTS TO JOB LOSSES…. President Obama talked last night about the way the current health care system serves as a drag on Americans’ wages and incomes. An interesting new study suggests rising health care costs are also contributing to job losses.

In a first-of-its-kind study, the non-profit Rand Corp linked the rapid growth in U.S. health care costs to job losses and lower output. The study, published online by the journal Health Services Research, gives weight to President Barack Obama’s dire warnings about the impact of rising costs if Congress does not enact health care reform.

Greg Sargent added, “It’s true, as Business Week says, that the finding that health care costs hurt the economy finding gives weight to Obama’s arguments. More to the point, though, it undercuts a core GOP claim: That Obama’s health care reform plan will prove devastating to the economy. This study, by contrast, finds that doing nothing is the real danger. This seems like a useful talking point for the pro-reform forces, given that Business Week seems to approve of the findings and isn’t exactly a bastion of diehard commies.”

Perhaps members of Congress can pick up a copy of the Rand report. They should have plenty of time to read it carefully over the month of August.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.