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The more a state's insured rate has increased since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, the more health care jobs that have been added in the state. That's the pattern we found when we compared the data on the growth of health care jobs with the health insurance gains in each state.

Expand chart
Note: Health care employment figures are taken from the Census Bureau's County Business Patterns dataset and include employed persons under the "Health care and social assistance" NAICS classification. Data: Census Bureau; Graphic: Chris Canipe / Axios

Why this matters: The House health care plan, which the Senate is currently editing, would cause an estimated 23 million people to lose insurance, according to the Congressional Budget Office. If that's true — and Republicans dispute the estimate — it stands to reason that this could lead to a slowdown in one of the fastest-growing job markets.

Those with the biggest growth in both coverage and health care jobs include a mix of red and blue states — so the impact would be widespread. "It would be hard to imagine it wouldn't have some negative impact on the growth in health jobs if you suddenly had 20 million more uninsured," said Ani Turner, a co-director at the Altarum Institute's Center for Sustainable Health Spending.

What to watch:

  • Coverage numbers alone won't determine the impact a new health law would have on jobs. Key questions include how hospitals and providers that see uninsured patients are compensated, and how that impacts their bottom line, Turner told me. An increase in the number of insured people likely created, at least temporarily, an increased demand for health care. It also decreased the number of people without coverage, who showed up at hospitals when they were sick but were unable to pay for their care.
  • The health care sector has been adding jobs steadily for a long time, including through the 2008 recession — which means the ACA's enhanced coverage is only partially responsible for the increase in jobs over the last few years. The Altarum Institute has a useful analysis of recent growth trends.
  • A slower growth in the number of health care jobs may not be a bad thing. "We should spend more on health care if we get health outcomes to justify it and less if we don't. We shouldn't subsidize an inefficient industry or starve an efficient one," David Cutler, a health economist at Harvard University, told me.
  • But a shrinking demand for health care workers could be more difficult for some parts of the country to deal with than others. "Bigger cities will find it easier -- lots of stuff to do," Cutler said. "Harder would be in coal country or small towns without much of a diversified employment base."

For context: Some in the industry see at least some stability in health care job growth, mostly because of the baby boomer effect. Younger workers will need to replace aging doctors, nurses and clinicians, as well as care for that aging population.

Go deeper

Several states declare emergency over Colonial Pipeline shutdown

A sign warns consumers on the avaliability of gasoline at a RaceTrac gas station in Smyrna, Georgia, on May 11. The average national price of gasoline has risen to $2.985 a gallon, Bloomberg notes. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/AFP via Getty Images

Reports of fuel shortages across the U.S. emerged on Tuesday as the national average for gasoline prices soared to its highest level since 2014 amid a key fuel pipeline shut down, per Bloomberg.

What's happening: Operator Colonial Pipeline aims to have service restored by the week's end following last Friday's ransomware attack that shut down some 5,500 miles of pipeline from Texas to New Jersey. The governors of Florida, Georgia, Virginia and North Carolina declared states of emergency Tuesday due to shortage concerns.

Reports: More than 100 Republicans threaten to form 3rd party over Trump

Former President Trump addressing the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida, in February. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

More than 100 Republicans will sign a letter Thursday threatening to create a third party if the GOP doesn't "break" with former President Trump, Reuters first reported.

Why it matters: Per Axios' Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei, Trump's grip on the GOP has gotten stronger since the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. The Republican Party's "allegiance to Trump" as he continues to make false claims about his 2020 election loss has "dismayed" the group, according to Reuters.

Updated 3 hours ago - World

In photos: Dozens dead as Israel and Hamas intensify aerial bombardments

People gather at the site of a collapsed building in the aftermath of Israeli air strikes on Gaza City on May 11. Photo: Mahmud Hams / AFP) (Photo by MAHMUD HAMS/AFP via Getty Images

At least 35 Palestinians and five Israelis have been killed as fighting between Israel's military and Hamas entered a third day, per Reuters.

The big picture: The worst aerial exchanges of fire between Israel and Hamas since 2014 come after escalating violence in Jerusalem that injured hundreds of Palestinians and several Israeli police officers during protests over the planned evictions of Palestinian families from their homes.