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When Government and Health Care Converge, Socialism Begins

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
The most ominous trend in America's employment data is not the number of people who have left the labor force, but the number who are now working either for the government or in the as-yet-still-private sector of the health care industry.

Health care has boomed under Obama, according to data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

When Obama was inaugurated in January 2009, there were 13,436,700 jobs in the private health care industry; by this March, there were 14,516,600.

Over the past four years, America has created 1,079,900 new jobs in the private-sector health care industry.

During the same period, total non-farm jobs have grown from 133,631,000 to 135,195,000 -- an increase of 1,564,000.

The 1,079,900 new jobs that the health care industry has created over the past four years equals 69 percent of the 1,564,000 non-farm jobs created during the Obama presidency.

In addition to the 14,516,600 jobs in the health care industry in March, there were also 21,865,000 jobs in government, according to BLS. That means that private health care and government combined to provide 36,381,600 jobs in March.

Those 36,381,600 health care and government jobs equaled 26.9 percent of the non-farm jobs in the United States.

In truth, health care and government have been increasing their dominance in the American job market for years.

Back in January 1990, there were 8,012,300 jobs in health care and 18,151,000 jobs in government for a combined 26,163,300 health care and government jobs. In that year, health care and government jobs made up about 23.9 percent of the 109,145,000 non-farm jobs in the country.


In January 2008, there were 13,138,200 jobs in health care and 22,388,000 jobs in government for a combined 35,526,200 health care and government jobs. In that year, health care and government jobs made up about 25.7 percent of 138,056,000 non-farm jobs in the country.

The welfare state is the key force driving this tandem rise of government and health care.

In 1995, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, 37.6 million people were enrolled in Medicare and 43.3 million were enrolled in Medicaid (for at least one month of the year). In 2012, 50.7 million were enrolled in Medicare and 71.7 million were enrolled in Medicaid (for at least one month of the year).

In 17 years, Medicaid enrollment jumped more than 65 percent.

Why is this so ominous? Because the government has not yet fully implemented Obamacare.

Next year, Obamacare's individual mandate takes effect. Then, the government will force every American family to purchase a government-approved health care plan. It will also force every business that employs 50 or more people to provide their workers with a health care plan or else pay a penalty. The government will then subsidize a health care plan for anyone who earns up to 400 percent of the poverty level, and enroll additional lower-income people in Medicaid.


Health-care plans will be required to cover people with pre-existing conditions and to provide cost-free coverage for certain government-approved services, such as sterilizations.

Will these provisions increase or decrease the cost of health care? Will they increase or decrease the relative number of American jobs concentrating in health care and government?

As Matt Cover reported on in January, the IRS has assumed that the most affordable family health plan under Obamacare will cost $20,000 in 2016.

Meanwhile, the BLS says that in 2012, on average, only 114,809,000 Americans worked in full-time (as opposed to part-time) jobs. Of those 114,809,000 full-time workers, 17,629,000 worked full-time for government. That means there were only 97,180,000 people working full-time in the private sector.

If you add the 71,700,000 who enrolled in Medicaid last year to the 17,629,000 who worked full-time for the government, that gives you a combined 82,329,000 who were enrolled in Medicaid or who worked full-time for government.

That means that for every person who either enrolled in Medicaid or worked full-time for the government, there were only about 1.2 full-time workers in the private sector.

And those 1.2 full-time private-sector workers who were supporting the Americans on Medicaid or the government's full-time payroll included however many full-time private-sector workers occupied the approximately 14.5 million private-sector health care jobs.


We have not gotten there yet, but we are fast approaching the point where the combination of people who work full-time in health care, and who work full-time for the government, and who are enrolled in Medicaid outnumber the people who work full-time in the private sector in non-health-care jobs.

When Obamacare falters from the great costs it is about to impose on this nation, some will declare that the answer is to fully nationalize the health care system.

Had that been done in March 2013, 26.9 percent of American jobs would have been government jobs.

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