ACA Repeal: What Would Be the Impact on Healthcare Staffing?
The ACA may be repealed, but what will replace it and when? Congressional leaders have said it might be years before replacement legislation is developed and implemented, while the new president’s administration has said that nobody will lose healthcare coverage under the ACA replacement. The ACA was created as a means to deliver efficient, quality healthcare to U.S. citizens. That goal still appears to be at the forefront for the Trump Administration. So it may be that many aspects of the ACA will remain, and that whatever changes do occur may be a couple of years down the road.
But there are far more important macro-forces than the ACA that are driving demand for healthcare delivery, demand for practitioners, and demand for the services of AMN Healthcare. These drivers will not only continue but actually increase:
- Our aging population will need more healthcare. People who are 65+ use three times more healthcare than the general public. People 75+ use four times as much.
- Our clinical workforce is getting older, and more practitioners are retiring or going to part-time.
- The improving economy means more people have jobs with health insurance and money for copays and deductibles.
- Shortages exist across the board and across the country for nurses, physicians and allied health professionals in virtually all specialties. The gap of unfilled healthcare jobs is huge.
- Healthcare industry consolidation is creating large, sophisticated companies that need top quality practitioners with the skills to succeed in the new healthcare environment.
- This super-competitive talent acquisition environment is itself magnifying the demand for quality healthcare practitioners.
These are long-range trends. For example, our population will continue aging at least through 2060, when there will be about twice as many people over 65 compared to today. In the intervening decades, there will be many changes to healthcare policy. But the demand for healthcare services due to aging will grow constantly. The AMN Healthcare business model is based on these types of long-range drivers of demand, not on political policy.