Data Show Administration’s Proposed Health Care Budget Cuts Would Cost More than 4,400 Jobs Statewide

If adopted, these cuts would “further worsen Maine’s employment picture and the prospects for future growth”
Augusta, Maine (Friday, December 9, 2011)- The Maine Center for Economic Policy (MECEP) today released a series of charts presenting data on Medicaid funded health care jobs in Maine and the projected impact of budget cuts proposed by Governor Paul LePage’s Administration.  Accompanying maps depict the distribution of jobs and the impact of the proposed cuts by county.  (click here for Figures & Maps)

“The proposed state cuts to Medicaid in FY 2012 will result in the loss of more than 4,400 jobs across all counties statewide, including more than 1,000 in Cumberland County alone,” said MECEP Executive Director Garrett Martin.  “Maine has lost more than 4,800 jobs since January 2011 according to the most recent Maine Department of Labor data. The job losses resulting from the proposed budget cuts to Medicaid will further worsen Maine’s employment picture and the prospects for future growth.”

MECEP based its findings on data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau analyzed using RIMS II multipliers available from the U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis. State and federal Medicaid payments of $2.3 billion to 3,500 health care providers statewide in FY 2011 directly and indirectly supported 40,526 jobs.

“The health care industry is a major economic engine and source of jobs in Maine,” Martin said.  “Health care jobs account for approximately one in four private sector jobs across the state. In Penobscot and Washington Counties, approximately one out of every three private sector jobs is in the health care industry.”

Martin also emphasized that MECEP’s analysis focused on the direct and indirect job impacts associated with proposed cuts and does not address other long term consequences for Maine’s economy.
“This is only the tip of the iceberg,” Martin said.  “These cuts will have devastating effects on working families, children, seniors, and disabled individuals who will be denied critically important services.  They will also result in tremendous cost shifts to health care providers, insurance premiums and other sectors of our economy.”