(USATODAY) — Hospitals, a reliable source of employment growth in the recession and its aftermath, are starting to cut thousands of jobs amid falling insurance payments and inpatient visits.

The payroll cuts are surprising because the Affordable Care Act (ACA), whose implementation took a big step forward this month, is eventually expected to provide health coverage to as many as 30 million additional Americans.

“While the rest of the U.S. economy is stabilizing or improving, health care is entering into a recession,” says John Howser, assistant vice chancellor of Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

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