Casey Mulligan, Professor in the Department of Economics and the College at the University of Chicago, discusses his new book on the Affordable Care Act of 2010.
The Affordable Care Act of 2010, sometimes known as Obamacare after the president who championed the law, is the most recent and most significant federal law intended to reduce the fraction of the population without health insurance. Many reports, articles, and blogs have been devoted to tracking and interpreting the law’s effect on health plan premiums and enrollment, but little has been done to assess consequences for the wider economy, if any.
The purpose of this book is to offer a comprehensive market analysis of the law that can gauge the size of the various effects, identify new ones, and arrive at conclusions as to the law’s net impact on employment, work hours, productivity, and national income. The book contains numerous facts and economic insights that have been unnoticed by both supporters and opponents.
The first half of the book carefully documents the positive and negative tax effects, with special attention to the distinction between employment taxes and income taxes. The second half of the book looks at the economic consequences of all of the new taxes, with attention to distinguishing small effects from large ones. It offers predictions for work hours and national income through 2017 and explains why forecasters have yet to acknowledge many of the economic forces put in motion by the ACA.