March 27, 2015

Good call

It seems like a long time ago that WV Governor Tomblin made the decision to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. I was there in the crowd celebrating that victory when it went down, but none of us who worked for it dreamed WV would do such a great job of signing up folks. We're talking 150K in a year.

We know that this was good news to those who got covered. Now it looks like it's good news in the states that expand Medicaid for both taxpayers and other health care consumers. It turns out that it's also good news for people who get jobs in the health care and service sector. According to Fitch Ratings,
The states that expanded health insurance access under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have seen substantially faster growth in healthcare jobs than those that did not since the first expansions began last January. If this trend continues, Fitch Ratings says it could support a broader economic and tax base for state budgets and improve nonprofit hospital finances in those states....
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare and social assistance jobs grew over 30% faster between December 2013 and December 2014 for 24 states that implemented ACA expansion on Jan. 1, 2014 than those that did not. On average, those states saw jobs in the healthcare and the social-assistance sectors grow by 2.4% YOY. Twenty-four states that didn't expand grew at 1.8%. Data for Alaska (a non-expansion state) and New Mexico (an expansion state) was not available.
(In case you were wondering what the YOY abbreviation meant, like I was, it's "year over year.")

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