The federal health reform law would have created nearly 100,000 jobs in California and added about $4.4 billion to the state's economy if it was fully implemented in 2010, according to a new report by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, KPCC's "KPCC News" reports.
For the study, BACEI -- an organization that advocates for businesses -- considered the potential economic effects of each provision in the reform law (O'Neill, "KPCC News," KPCC, 5/20).
According to the study, employment gains would have resulted from an overall rise in economic activity stemming from increased health care and medical services spending, as well as from the secondary benefits of the money reaching other parts of the economy.
The study found that the law would have had the greatest effect on employment in Southern California, where it would have created nearly 58,000 new jobs.
According to the study, the law also would have increased the number of jobs by:
- 13,500 in the Sacramento Valley;
- 7,600 in the San Francisco Bay Area;
- 6,500 in San Diego County; and
- 10,000 in other areas of the state (BACEI release, 5/20).
Micah Weinberg -- a senior fellow with BACEI and co-author of the report -- said the findings are "perhaps surprising to a lot of folks in the public debate where the Affordable Care Act is sometimes called 'job-killing.' But there is no evidence for those claims."
However, Weinberg noted that the ultimate financial and policy effects of the law will depend on how the public and private sector implement its provisions and whether the U.S. Supreme Court upholds the overhaul.
John Graham, health care economist with the Pacific Research Institute, was concerned by findings suggesting that many of the jobs created under the law will be in Sacramento area. He said, "How many of these jobs ... are not going to be delivering health care to patients but are going to be bureaucrats working in the state government or in the county government complying with federal regulations?" ("KPCC News," KPCC, 5/20).