There is no evidence that the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act would reduce employment rates, lead to job losses or have a major effect on the overall economy, according to a new Urban Institute study, Healthcare Finance News reports.
The study is based on the implementation of the 2006 Massachusetts health reform law, which served as a model for ACA. Researchers found that the state's gross domestic product grew at a faster rate than the national GDP following implementation of the state health care law.
In addition, "[g]rowth in other non-health and social assistance industries, which was much slower in Massachusetts relative to the rest of the nation prior to health reform, increased by 3.1% between 2006 and 2010," researchers reported. The study also found that the rate of employer-sponsored insurance increased from 70% to 75% during the years after enactment of the law, which includes an individual mandate.
Lead study author Lisa Dubay, a senior fellow with the Urban Institute's Health Policy Center, said the findings mirror a 2010 study from the Congressional Budget Office that found job losses resulting from health reform would account for only about 0.5% of the workforce. "And many of those losses would likely come from people who are choosing to remain employed as a means of obtaining health insurance," she added (Anderson, Healthcare Finance News, 10/25).