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It is easy to get caught up in all the political back and forth over medicare and medicaid.  These programs are vital to the health of our seniors and nations most vulnerable individuals.

Too often, the callous and detached nature of the bargaining over these programs fails to visualize the real-world consequences of slashing these benefits.  Since the debate primarily surrounds the long term viability of these programs, it is no surprise that the employment benefits get overlooked.  Nursing homes are a key jobs driver in many small towns and mid-size cities.

The AQNHC(alliance for quality nursing home care) points out that nursing homes make up the 2nd largest health facility employer with over 1.7 million employed.  These employees care for over 3.2 million patients at over 16,000 facilities while generating over 201 billion dollars in economic activity.  The top 5 states in terms of jobs and economic impact are-NY,CA,OH,TX,Fl.

Not only are nursing homes the cornerstone of local employment across the country, they are also making significant strides in quality and efficiency.  In a 2010 report-large improvements were make on the measurement of 16 key indicators.  You can read that report here: http://www.aqnhc.org/pdfs/annual-quality-report-2010.pdf.  Please continue to make your passionate voices heard in this debate………just don’t forget to emphasize the positive impact on our nations employment picture that nursing homes provide.