The Impact of Repealing Obamacare on Jobs

As Republicans continue to work on a plan to repeal Obamacare, we’ve heard a lot about how it will affect the 20 million people who accessed health insurance via the exchanges and expanded Medicaid. We’ve also heard about how it will affect those on Medicare, by eliminating the $800 billion in savings to the program over 10 years and reinstating the prescription drug donut hole.

Back in 2015, the Congressional Budget Office documented the how a repeal of Obamacare would affect the federal budget. Their finding was that it would increase the deficit by $353 billion over 10 years.

Today, we get news about how a repeal of Obamacare will affect jobs.

Congress has another reason not to roll back Obamacare too quickly: New research suggests that repealing two major provisions of Obamacare without replacing them right away could cost the nation 3 million jobs and trigger negative economic impacts that would extend far beyond the health care industry.

The report was released Thursday by the Commonwealth Fund and George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health. It assumes Congress will gut two key provisions of the Affordable Care Act — subsidies that help low- and moderate-income people pay for coverage and Medicaid expansion — and that Congress won’t put a replacement plan in place.

If that happens, it would set off a chain reaction that could cost America an estimated 2.6 million jobs in 2019 alone, the report said. And these losses could rise to nearly 3 million by 2021.

Part of the ripple affect is that the loss of all those jobs will have an impact on state and local government revenues.

When these funds are cut, insurers and providers could be forced to cut staff and may not be able to afford to pay their vendors. And those former workers now have less spending power — triggering ripple effects throughout the economy.

That means state and local governments wouldn’t be able to collect as much in tax revenue. The report estimates the fallout could be about $48 billion of forgone tax revenue over the course of five years.

In summary, the Republicans are willing to take away health insurance from millions of people, make Medicare less solvent, increase the federal deficit and eliminate jobs in order to score an ideological victory for their side.

But Trump saved 750 Carrier jobs temporarily in return for a promise of massive tax cuts…so there’s that.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.