Is Mitt Romney being unfair to the law he inspired? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
One of the key arguments made by opponents to the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, is that it will kill jobs. The reasoning is that forcing employers to provide insurance for their employees will raise their costs, and that they’ll cover those costs by cutting wages and other compensation, and ultimately by shedding jobs. But is that true?
The nonpartisan Urban Institute decided to find out. It did so by looking at what has happened in Massachusetts, whose health reform law, passed in 2006, is broadly similar. It found no evidence whatever that health care reform, and mandated coverage, killed jobs:
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There is no evidence of a more pronounced decline in overall employment in Massachusetts than in the rest of the nation over the 2006-2010 period, nor is there evidence of a more pronounced decline among the small firms, industries, and workers, where such declines would be predicted if health reform had dampened economic growth in the state. Although there are differences in the details between the Massachusetts health reform and the ACA, there are broad similarities that indicate that the impacts could be roughly similar under the ACA. The evidence from Massachusetts would suggest that national health reform does not imply job loss and stymied economic growth.