Report: Healthcare reform won't destroy jobs

The Affordable Care Act likely won't have a major impact on employment throughout the country, despite several contradicting reports, concludes a new analysis from the Urban Institute.

The analysis refutes a previous report released in February from the Congressional Budget Office, which stated the ACA would cause many Americans to quit their jobs instead of risking their chances and losing them.

"The recent CBO report has renewed the vigor of the debate and has led to some strong claims that the ACA will harm the economic recovery or even induce another recession," the Urban Institute analysis states.

The Urban Institute contested the CBO's claim, saying the reform law is a "means-tested program" that helps people with low incomes obtain insurance like other federal social programs that provide food, shelter and money to low-income individuals. In fact, all means-tested programs include incentives that discourage work or have led to unintended costs.

"So the ACA is not different and not a program with unusually large work disincentives," the report authors write. "More importantly, the decline in employment in the ACA will most likely stem from voluntary choices of people not to work because of the access to health insurance benefits makes them better off, and not because employers demand fewer workers."

What's more, Massachusetts serves as a guide to show healthcare reform doesn't hurt employment, the analysis notes. Massachusetts has found broad success with its reform law, including expanding insurance coverage to more people, lowering emergency room visits and boosting preventive care visits, FierceHealthPayer previously reported. Statewide employment hasn't decreased alongside those gains.

To learn more:
- here's the Urban Institute analysis (.pdf)