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While employment in many industries tanked and weakly recovered, jobs in the health care sector have grown at a steady clip. But ever-growing health employment may be coming to an end, as National Journal reporter Margot Sanger-Katz learned when she reported on the health sector’s impact on the Pittsburgh economy.
Deficit reductions out of Washington will squeeze the dollars fueling health care jobs. That means cuts from Medicare and Medicaid, as well as grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other agencies. The recent across-the-board budget cuts known as the sequester hit medical research and public health particularly hard. Hundreds of billions of dollars likely will be cut from future Medicare spending, cuts that come on top of Affordable Care Act reductions that already have many hospitals tightening their belts.
Sanger-Katz urges reporters to cover the health care workforce in their own communities and, in this tip sheet, she points out potential stories, asks key questions and offers some essential resources. The changing health workforce is a key part of the story of health reform, and it hasn’t yet been well told.
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