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Health Care / An Economic Stabilizer

From a macroeconomic perspective, the health care sector has functioned for some time as the main economic locomotive pulling the economy along. In the last two decades, it has created more jobs on a net basis than any other sector.

Oddly, not much is made of the job-creating ability of the health care sector in political debate over health policy, in contrast to discussions of military spending, where employment always ranks high among the arguments against cuts. In October 2011, for example, Representative Buck McKeon of California, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, made that point, among others, in a commentary in The Wall Street Journal, “Why Defense Cuts Don’t Make Sense”:

And on the economic front, if the super committee fails to reach an agreement, its automatic cuts would kill upwards of 800,000 active-duty, civilian and industrial American jobs. This would inflate our unemployment rate by a full percentage point, close shipyards and assembly lines, and damage the industrial base that our war fighters need to stay fully supplied and equipped.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor from

NYT Economix

via Uwe E. Reinhardt: Health Care as an Economic Stabilizer – NYTimes.com.

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