Because Obama’s “can wait” Jobs Act fell flat, the White House will pour $1 billion into jobs for health workers.
If you can’t create green jobs with multi-million dollar loans to outfits such as solar failure Solyndra, and if you can’t entice business with temporary tax relief to sign up employees, or pay local governments to hire more cops and teachers, with the $474 million Jobs Act, you just buy health care workers for $1 billion.
Anything to fade the unemployment shadow hanging over re-election 2012.
On Nov. 14, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid announced what it called a “funding opportunity” of up to $1 billion for “innovative projects across the country to deliver health care.” Importantly, “Priority will be given to projects” that hire people rapidly…” Get that jobless figure down before it kills us politically, the White House obviously is thinking.
The money for new health jobs will come, of course, from ObamaCare. The stated aim is to find new ideas for care to people in Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP (the children’s health program).
The new money will be handed out in grants to organizations and local governments that work with patients in those federal programs, a Washington Post article reported. The health care sector is one of the few areas where jobs already are growing.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) “Health Care employment continued to expand in October 2011 (+12,000), following a gain of 45,000 in September. Offices of physicians added 8,000 jobs in October. Over the past 12 months, health care has added 313,000 jobs.” Health care jobs are expected to grow by 3.2 million by the end of this decade, BLS said.
Undoubtedly many of these new job holders are bureaucrats connected to the expansive ObamaCare program, which may not even be alive, if the Supreme Court strikes it down. The high court decided to hear arguments in March for and against ObamaCare’s constitutionality. A decision may come before the 2012 election.
One portion of Obama’s $447 million “can’t wait”-pressure for Congress to act on his jobs plan finally won passage in the normally road-blocking Senate. The bill is designed to hire veterans by giving temporary tax credits to business employers.
The Obama administration probably believes a much larger health workforce will be required to deal with the health care insurance program when it is scheduled to begin to encompass millions of Americans in 2014. At least 32 million people are expected to be covered by insurance in 2016, if the law lives on.
The Association of American Medical Colleges estimates that in the next decade nearly one-third of current doctors will retire, and the country will face a shortage of more than 90,000 doctors. By 2025, the projected deficit of physicians will reach more than 130,000 in all specialties.
The country has a current population of 310 million. This number grows by 25 million every decade. Of the total, 37 million are 65 or older.
The Health Care Innovative Challenge, as it is called, will be a hustle-up program. Grants will be given as early as this coming March. Applicants must have their “letter of intent” in by Dec. 19, with applications due by Jan. 27.
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