March 29, 2011 | last updated May 31, 2012 4:59 pm

As budget battle continues, CT health care providers tout economic impact

The state's health care providers say they are major economic drivers for the state of Connecticut, and they aren't being shy about it.

Industry groups representing Connecticut hospitals, nursing homes, and physicians have all come out in recent weeks with studies that tout their economic impact in the state, saying their industries provides billions of dollars in stimulus to the local economy.

It started with a report by The Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care about a month ago, which said Connecticut's nursing home industry generates about $5.2 billion in revenue annually, and supplies the state with tens of thousands of jobs.

A few weeks later the American Medical Association issued a report saying office-based physicians in the state contributed $14 billion in economic activity in 2009 and supported 51,962 jobs.

And on Monday, the Connecticut Hospital Association said their industry contributes $17.6 billion to the state and local economies.

The report shows what many people in the state already know: health care is a major industry in the state's economy that will likely continue to grow as the aging population continues to increase.

The economic impact statements also come at a time when state lawmakers are debating sweeping health care reform and potential budget cuts and tax increases that could impact a swath of health care related industries.

The Connecticut Hospital Association, for example, is trying to ward off a proposed tax increase and $83 million in cuts to uncompensated care funds to hospitals. Those cuts and taxes are part of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's two-year budget plan, which the CHA said would cause the state to lose $176 million in business activity, 1,417 jobs, and $63 million in salary and wages.

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