Benefits of Healthcare Jobs Spur Ongoing Debate

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , August 6, 2012

Others argue that healthcare sector job growth is a natural evolution for a mature society and should not necessarily be met with wringing hands.

"There seem to be two economies—the healthcare economy and the non-healthcare economy. One of the problems in healthcare policy is the attempt to understand healthcare economics in the context of the rest of the economy," says Richard "Buz" Cooper, MD, Senior Fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics at the University of Pennsylvania and director of the Center for the Future of the Healthcare Workforce.

"What is driving the growth? It's the evolution of civilization and right now we are evolving from having better basic needs like clean water and sanitation to the desire that society as a whole improve the health and wellbeing of people."

Rather than wondering if the healthcare sector is creating too many jobs, Cooper says we should consider what the economy would look like without those jobs, particularly in Rust Belt cities such as Cleveland, Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia.

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