Private Equity, Housing, Healthcare, Rent control, child care, ownership, economic growth, rent

New Report Reveals Which States Have High Private Equity Influence On Healthcare, Housing and Jobs

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A new report highlights the states where private-equity firms have taken over key economic areas, including healthcare, pensions, jobs, and housing.

Research conducted by the nonprofit Private Equity Stakeholder Project shows that Arizona and Georgia top the list in housing, with more private equity firms purchasing rental homes. Massachusetts and Alabama are on the high end in terms of impact on jobs and employee relations, while healthcare systems operated by financiers have dominated New Mexico and West Virginia. 

Lastly, Washington, Louisiana, and Michigan are at a high end in pension risk due to investments in private equity. 

In the last few years, private equity firms have been responsible for shifts in the United States economy in a vast group of industries outside of the top four. Other spaces seen under the influence include supermarkets, child care, fast food operations, pet care providers, and senior living centers. 

Even the departments of first responders are impacted, as 40% of emergency departments are operated by staffing companies owned by private equity firms. 

According to MetLife, by 2030, companies supported by private equity could potentially own 40% of the nation’s single-family homes, adding a risk for areas already facing increased housing costs. In Fulton County, Georgia, the selection of single-family homes owned by corporate landlords has doubled to 6,429 in 2023 from only 3,169 in 2018. With a staggering number of rent increases in Atlanta, nonprofit Housing Justice League’s Alison Johnson said the private equity firms are putting residents in a tough spot. “They have us in a chokehold,” she said. 

“They have purchased so many homes here, they get to manage the market. They get to tell us what rents are set in areas where they have absorbed all the housing.”

Patrons of these businesses are unaware of the private-equity ownership since the firms don’t put their names outside the buildings or paperwork. The report’s positive side is that Private Equity Stakeholder Project policy director, Chris Noble, says state leaders have “the tools to protect the people they serve” from these firms. 

Since private-equity firm ownership risks a decline in healthcare, lawmakers are pushing to “take for-profit, equity-based companies out of the healthcare system.” 

Senate Ways and Means Chairman Michael Rodrigues (D-Mass.) said Gov. Maura Healey must change the damage done to the state healthcare network, Steward Health Care network, and other surrounding hospitals. “I’m worried about health care in general because all of our providers, all of our hospitals, are facing immense pressures — labor and workforce pressure, they can’t get enough nurses; inflationary costs, health care costs generally have increased more over the last year than it has in probably the prior decade,” Rodrigues said, according to Mass Live. 

He added that Cerberus Capital Management, who purchased Steward, made $800 million. The Democratic legislator believes that money would have been better off being pushed “back into the healthcare system” instead of into corporate pockets.

While an independent study found that private equity ownership of nursing homes, hospitals and physician practices hurts patients, pro-private equity advocates like the American Investment Council argue that corporate acquisitions only improve their investments. “Private equity investments consistently support quality, affordable health care for patients across America,” the council wrote.

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