By DANIEL TYSON
BECKLEY, W.Va. — According to a report from The Commonwealth Fund, West Virginia stands to lose 16,000 jobs in 2019 if portions of the Affordable Care Act are repealed.
The incoming administration and Congress have placed a high priority on repealing federal premium tax credits that help low and middle income Americans afford health insurance through the marketplace, as well as federal payments to states for Medicaid expansion.
The nonpartisan study, conducted by George Washington University, showed a national loss of 2.6 million jobs in 2019 if those parts of the ACA are repealed.
“Repealing key parts of the ACA could trigger massive job losses and a slump in consumer and business spending that would affect all sectors of state economies,” said lead author Leighton Ku, Ph.D., director of the Center for Health Policy Research and professor of health policy and management at the Milken Institute.
“Cuts in federal funding would not only harm the health care industry and its employees but could lead to serious economic distress for states, including a $1.5 trillion reduction in gross state product from 2019 to 2023.”
In West Virginia, jobs lost from both the private and public sector would include 7,200 health care jobs, 1,600 construction and real estate jobs, 2,000 retail trade jobs, 600 public jobs, 500 finance and insurance jobs and 4,600 jobs in other categories.
The study also showed West Virginia would lose $348.5 million in state and local taxes, $16 billion in business output, and $9.1 billion in gross state product.
“While health reform repeal would dramatically increase the number of uninsured and harm access to health care, particularly for low- and moderate-income Americans, this analysis demonstrates that the consequences could be broader and extend well beyond the health care system,” the report said.
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