Will the Affordable Care Act Create More Jobs?

Joe Weinlick
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The Affordable Care Act is one of the most controversial laws passed in recent history. The act contains provisions for mandatory health insurance coverage, employer-sponsored coverage of contraceptives, and rules governing the use of electronic health records.  Despite all the controversy, some experts say the Affordable Care Act could actually help the economy because it will spur job creation in the healthcare industry. Whether you are a physician or a laboratory technician, this law will have a big impact on your healthcare career.


To support compliance with the Affordable Care Act, some call centers are adding new jobs, which will benefit the economy. A July 1 article in "The Gazette," an Eastern Iowa publication, says a Coralville call center is adding 120 jobs to help consumers understand the Affordable Care Act. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded a major contract to the company that operates the call center, General Dynamics Information Technology. Iowa is not the only state that will benefit; this federal contract is set to create thousands of jobs in other states. Giles Bruce of the "Lawrence Journal-World" reports that the East Hills Business Park in Lawrence, Kansas, houses one of the call centers that will add new jobs as a result of the new law.


The Department of Health and Human Services is also providing $700 million in funding to help build and renovate community health centers to be used to provide healthcare to low-income individuals and families. Not only will these new community health centers increase the number of healthcare jobs available, they will also provide much-needed jobs to building and construction professionals. Construction workers will be needed to erect new structures, repair existing buildings, and completely renovate some existing healthcare facilities. In 2010, community health centers employed more than 130,000 people, making them an important source of jobs for American communities.


Despite the positive news related to the Affordable Care Act, detractors say that the act will actually hinder job creation. Paul Howard of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research says that there is so much uncertainty surrounding the act that some facilities will hold off on hiring new workers. Others say that the act will make healthcare more expensive, forcing employers to cut hours or hire fewer full-time employees.


There are both positives and negatives to the new healthcare law, but unless the Supreme Court rules otherwise, the law will go into effect on January 1, 2014. You must be prepared for all the changes that will take place, or you will find it difficult to comply with the law. Although it remains to be seen whether the Affordable Care Act will create new jobs, you should not let this question divert your attention from other important issues related to the law.


(Photo courtesy of smokedsalmon / freedigitalphotos.net)


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