Some Obamacare opponents have labeled the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as a job-killer. New research indicates there may be a grain of truth to that — although the jobs won’t be “lost” the way the naysayers are predicting.
Rather, workers who are today in the workforce primarily as a means of obtaining affordable health care coverage will likely quit working, either temporarily or permanently.
That’s the prediction of research by a triumvirate of academicians, in a study spearheaded by the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, with contributions from others at Columbia University and Northwestern.
They based their projection — that upwards of 900,000 current jobholders might quit — on extrapolations from a Tennessee “test case.”
In the Volunteer State, a health plan was created in 1994 for those whose income put them above the Medicaid line but below the wage levels that would have allowed them to comfortably afford coverage on the open market.
Confronting a budget crunch, Tennessee discontinued the program in 2005 and 170,000 people lost coverage. Almost immediately, these people — mostly single adults without kids — started looking hard for jobs. About half of them were able to find employment where they received health care as a benefit.