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What Does the Stimulus Package Mean for Nurses?

What Does the Stimulus Package Mean for Nurses?

Where is all the money going? Where will new jobs be created for nurses?

February 04, 2009

The Stimulus Package and Healthcare

The stimulus package is supposed to create or save more than 3 million jobs. There are many areas to focus your job search on in light of the bill.

Obama’s stimulus plan is targeting two areas that are stable, and are considered vital, in the down economy – healthcare and education. In the past year, the healthcare field added 370,000 jobs while education added 160,000 jobs. There is little foreign competition for these jobs, so logistically the country’s economic bailout should foster and encourage these sectors.

A Closer Look at Healthcare Spending

More than $160 billion in new spending is funding healthcare programs. This includes:

• Medicaid to aid states’ spending: $87 billion

• COBRA: $26-$40 billion

• Computerizing the country’s medical records: $20 billion

• Preventative care: $4.1 billion (According to CNN, “Senate Democrats dropped two controversial spending programs in the Senate economic stimulus bill: $75 million for anti-smoking programs and $400 million for the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV.”)

• Military Hospitals: $4 billion

• Government health building renovations for the Public Health Service, the Center for Disease Control, National Institutes of Health: $1 billion*

Because people get to keep their healthcare insurance despite layoffs, medical services should still be utilized and won’t be as effected by the recession. Also, because of Obama’s initiative to make all health records digital, there will be a high demand for data entry, clerks and secretaries with sharp computer skills.

Healthcare and education are expected to grow by 215,000 jobs as a result of the stimulus package. This does not include the normal job growth for the industry.

*GOP leaders are debating if these provisions are necessary and are attempting to strip them from the bill sitting in the Senate as of 02/02/09

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