UF Study: Jobs, Wages boosted through extending health care coverage

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The Florida Hospital Association today released a report by the University of Florida Food & Resource Economics Department showing that the proposed extension of health care coverage through the Medicaid program will create 54,288 jobs in Florida with an average wage of $52,230 – 22 percent higher than the state salary average.

“Providing access to health insurance to a million or more working Floridians is a good thing for our patients and our business community,” said Lars Houmann, President and CEO of Florida Hospital, and the Florida Division of Adventist Health System. “This report underscores that extending coverage would have a tremendous positive impact on our state’s economy by creating nearly 55,000 high-wage jobs.”

The study also forecasts the permanent jobs by industry sector:

– Offices of physicians, dentists and other health practitioners: 6,907

– Private hospitals: 5,446

– Nursing and residential care facilities: 3,993

– Medical and diagnostic labs, outpatient and other ambulatory care services: 2,024

– Home health care services: 1,776

– Non-health care sectors: 33,532

“Having access to health insurance makes a positive difference for Florida individuals and families, and these benefits are shared by our business community through a strong and healthy workforce,” said Bruce Rueben, President of the Florida Hospital Association.

The study entitled “Economic Impacts of Extending Health Care Coverage in Florida” was written by Alan W. Hodges and Mohammad Rahmani from the University of Florida’s Food & Resource Economics Department and sponsored by the Florida Hospital Association. The original study, which uses official projections made by the Florida Legislature Office of Economic and Demographic Research, adopted in their Social Services Estimating Conference in August 2012, was completed November 26, 2012, and amended February 20, 2013.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.