The one industry that never stops adding jobs should probably quit now, according to a paper soon to be published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Drs. Katherine Baicker and Amitabh Chandra argue that hiring more doctors is putting an undue burden on taxpayers at the expense of their “private priorities,” including retirement:
“Salaries for health care jobs are not manufactured out of thin air — they are produced by someone paying higher taxes, a patient paying more for health care, or an employee taking home lower wages because higher health insurance premiums are deducted from his or her paycheck.
Additional health care jobs leave Americans with less money to devote to groceries, college tuition, and mortgage payments, and the U.S. government with less money to perform all other governmental functions — including paying teachers, scientists, and social workers.”
The authors go on to explain that it’s hard to account for how many jobs were created, and even harder to figure out what resources the money thrown at them could have funded instead.
But we do know one thing. With more Americans, especially young people, going uninsured, we’re seeing Americans try some pretty creative ways to get health care at a premium, from skipping their dentist appointments to going without medication entirely. It’s a trend that will likely continue.