The Affordable Care Act went live on October 1 as open enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace began. While the act – more commonly known as Obamacare – drew more attention as the divisive issue that led to the government shutdown and for the technical glitches that plagued its launch, many are looking down the road at Obamacare’s potential impact on the medical jobs marketplace.
Like Obamacare itself, it’s a question that elicits a range of opinions. But the prevailing opinion, based on the inescapable fact that more people will be insured, points to an expansion of the healthcare workforce to meet the increased demand for services.
“In general, when people have health insurance, they demand more health care,” said Joanne Spetz of the Center for Health Professions at the University of California, San Francisco, in an article on nj.com.
She predicts that job opportunities will rise – not just for doctors, but for nurse practitioners, lab techs, and medical assistants.
“I think there will be a lot of opportunities at the entry-level and mid-level,” Spetz said.
Robert Wise, chairman of the New Jersey Health Care Workforce Council, agrees. “Many more professionals and caregiver positions are necessary to meet what will be a significant new demand,” he said. Wise believes that nurses, nurse practitioners, and home care and health care aides will be especially in demand, especially as legislation that lifts the requirement of physician oversight moves forward.