Health industry group: Yes, we’ve suffered massive Obamacare job losses

Patrick Howley Political Reporter
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A new report from a top health care industry trade organization contradicts Kathleen Sebelius’ recent claim that no job loss will occur under Obamacare.

Obamacare’s medical device tax has already created a job loss of 33,000 in the medical device industry and 132,0o0 more job losses are expected, according to a new report from the industry trade group the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed), obtained by the Daily Caller.

“There is absolutely no evidence, and every economist will tell you this, that there is any job loss related to the Affordable Care Act,” Sebelius said Monday in Orlando. “Part-time physicians are actually down since 2010, not up. The number of full-time workers continues to increase. I know that’s a popular myth that continues to be repeated but it just is not accurate.”

But AdvaMed’s report, for which surveyed it all of its medical device and technology member companies in late 2013, paints a much different picture. Here are the top takeaways from the report.

1. Job losses

“The tax has resulted in employment reductions of approximately 14,000 industry workers and forgone hiring of 19,000 workers. The total job impact of the tax on industry employment was approximately 33,000.”

“The impact of the tax on indirect employment would be approximately 132,000 jobs, for a total job loss due to the tax of as many as 165,000 jobs.”

“We have restructured our business, including significant layoffs…We have reduced service levels to customers. We will consider adding headcount if there is a repeal,” said one company surveyed in the report.

2. Shipping jobs overseas

“Adding offices and employment outside US (EU and Asia) in lieu of US jobs. Modest numbers today, but will increase in upcoming years,” according to one company surveyed.

3. Companies cutting back on research and development

“Almost one-third of respondents (30.6%) said they had reduced R&D as the result of the tax.”

“Almost 10 percent of respondents said they had relocated manufacturing outside of the U.S. or expanded manufacturing abroad rather than in the U.S. because of the tax.”

4. 75 percent of member companies cutting back on investments, canceling plans for new facilities, and having trouble raising capital

“Three-quarters of respondents said they had taken one or more of the following actions in response to the tax: deferred or cancelled capital investments; deferred or cancelled plans to open new facilities; reduced investment in start-up companies; found it more difficult to raise capital (among start-up companies); reduced or deferred increases in employee compensation.”

5. More job cuts to come

“58% of respondents said they would consider reducing employment if the device tax were not repealed.”

“50% said they would consider reducing R&D investment if the device tax were not repealed.”

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