Tags: Obamacare | health care costs | affordable health care act

Economist: Obamacare Penalizes American Economy and Workers

By    |   Tuesday, 09 Sep 2014 07:17 AM


The Affordable Care Act helps some Americans by providing them a bigger slice of the economic pie while diminishing the pie itself, writes University of Chicago economist Casey Mulligan in The Wall Street Journal.

It is affordable only if you don't factor in the cost to society as a whole. The upshot of Obamacare is that Americans will work less and be less productive. It will drag down personal income and gross domestic product. Obamacare helps low- and middle-income families buy health insurance with fewer sacrifices, at the cost of requiring society itself to make greater sacrifices, Mulligan writes.

He argues that the Affordable Care Act is "a complex law" that does more to discourage work than to encourage it.

Roughly 25 million Americans are ineligible for health insurance subsidies merely because they work full time, Mulligan writes. There will be some — unhappy with their jobs for one reason or another — who would leave full-time employment hoping to become eligible for financial assistance.

Employers with 50 or more full-time workers must provide healthcare coverage for those who put in 30 hours a week or more. That has led some firms to adopt a 29-hour work schedules. "The result of penalizing businesses for hiring and expanding is going to be less hiring and expanding," according to Mulligan.

He estimates that Obamacare will, in the long run, result in 3 percent less weekly employment, 3 percent less aggregate work hours, 2 percent less GDP, and 2 percent less labor income.

From the vantage point of the overall economy, providing 20 million additional Americans with healthcare coverage by the end of the decade will cost at least double what it would have cost had these people purchased coverage with their own money, he writes.

As a result, Americans who are not collecting subsidies are footing a double bill: "Once as the total economic pie gets smaller and again as they receive a smaller piece," writes Mulligan.

"The Affordable Care Act is weakening the economy. And for the large number of families and individuals who continue to pay for their own healthcare, healthcare is now less affordable," concludes Mulligan.


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The Affordable Care Act helps some Americans by providing them a bigger slice of the economic pie while diminishing the pie itself, writes University of Chicago economist Casey Mulligan.
Obamacare, health care costs, affordable health care act
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2014-17-09
Tuesday, 09 Sep 2014 07:17 AM
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