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The Obamacare implementation layoff announcements du jour

By Doug Powers  •  November 20, 2012 10:36 AM

**Written by Doug Powers

The ramping up (or down, depending on how you look at it) for full implementation of Obamacare continues:

In the largest staff reduction in its nearly 100-year history, Orlando Health is cutting up to 400 jobs starting immediately, hospital system officials announced Monday.

The move is part of a broader effort to position the hospital system for the health-care overhaul, CEO Sherrie Sitarik said.

The elimination of jobs will occur in two phases and represents a 2 percent to 3 percent reduction in the system’s 16,000-person work force, said Orlando Health spokeswoman Kena Lewis. The cuts affect all departments and all eight of the system’s hospitals, including Orlando Regional Medical Center and Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, two of the system’s better-known facilities.
Such cost-cutting measures are happening across the country. On Wednesday, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in North Carolina announced that it would cut 950 jobs by June.

Last month, Louisiana State University announced it would cut 1,495 positions as well as programs across its seven hospitals to trim more than $150 million from its budget.

This is where those who helped pass the health care law step up and say “thankfully we were there for these people or they wouldn’t have had health care after losing their jobs!”

Some just don’t understand why this is happening:

Laura Goodhue, executive director of the health-advocacy organization Florida Chain, also questioned whether the layoffs were necessary.

“I’m not sure why they’re having layoffs now. And I’m not sure what they’re referring to in regards to reduced payments,” she said.

“As a result of the Affordable Care Act, more Floridians are going to have health coverage, not fewer, so there will be more paying Floridians in the system,” Goodhue said.

Well, there will be more Floridians in the system anyway.

Harsh economic realities are on the way, and these kinds of stories are just the tip of the iceberg.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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