New York Times, May 6, 2017
Nelson D. Schwartz and Reed Abelson


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[...] The outsize economic role of the American health care industry heightens the risks posed by the Republicans’ effort in Washington to repeal the Affordable Care Act, enacted in 2010 under President Barack Obama, and it comes at a delicate moment for the broader economy.

While the government reported Friday that unemployment was at its lowest point in more than a decade, the health care industry has been an engine for much of that hiring, adding jobs at more than three times the rate of the rest of the economy since 2007.

Nor is the growth limited to hospitals. With help from the vast expansion of Medicaid enrollment that began three years ago, nursing homes, outpatient centers and medical labs have also grown, turning a fragmented industry into a strong political force.

Governors on both sides of the aisle, as well as many moderate Republicans on Capitol Hill, have expressed concern over whether the repeal will hurt local economies, especially in places where health care has softened the blow from struggling industries like retailing now or manufacturing in the past. [...]

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