Providers worry that Obama's jobs plan will hinder healthcare job growth

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Provider groups are concerned that President Obama's newly unveiled $447 billion jobs plan will eat away at job growth in the healthcare sector, which is one place advocates say the economy is growing.

The Obama administration will release more specifics of the jobs bill this week, but the president said it would be paid for, in part, through a combination of tax increases and tweaks to Medicare and Medicaid spending. In August, Department of Labor statistics showed that the healthcare industry added 74,000 jobs in the last year, with 3,900 in the assisted living sector in August alone.

The Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care President Alan Rosenbloom cautions against additional Medicare cuts and notes that nursing homes employ 1.7 million Americans and generate $201 billion annually in economic activity. A recent study conducted by Avalere Health determined that a new Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services regulation will reduce Medicare payment to the U.S. nursing home sector by $79 billion over 10 years.

“We encourage our national leaders to recognize and respect the dual benefits of Medicare as both a program crucial to the health and welfare of our seniors and a program that can reliably grow jobs – particularly at a time when we are at risk for a double-dip recession,” Rosenbloom said.