As Many As 11 Million Workers — Maybe More — Have an Incentive to Work Less Because of the ACA

Business DiscussionUnder the Affordable Care Act, between six and eleven million workers would increase their disposable income by cutting their weekly work hours. About half of them would primarily do so by making themselves eligible for the ACA’s federal assistance with health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket health costs, despite the fact that subsidized workers are not able to pay health premiums with pre-tax dollars. The remainder would do so primarily by relieving their employers from penalties, or the threat of penalties, pursuant to the ACA’s employer mandate. Women, especially those who are not married, are more likely than men to have their short-term financial reward to full-time work eliminated by the ACA. Additional workers, beyond the six to eleven million, could increase their disposable income by using reduced hours to climb one of the “cliffs” that are part of the ACA’s mapping from household income to federal assistance.

Casey Mulligan at NBER.

Comments (16)

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  1. Nikolaev says:

    No social policy is perfect. However, we cannot say a policy is good when people have to lose individual job competitiveness in exchange for some benefits.

  2. Perry says:

    Oh, but isn’t that a good thing so all these people can go out and become entrepreneurs and start their own businesses? That’s what the proponents seem to think.

  3. John R. Graham says:

    This is worse than in Canada or Europe, where there is no income phase out, and therefore no “cliffs”. That is one benefit of universality, which is included in NCPA’s proposal to give a universal tax credit of, e.g. $2,500 per person or $8,000 per family.

  4. Trent says:

    “As Many As 11 Million Workers — Maybe More — Have an Incentive to Work Less Because of the ACA”

    Trader Joe’s has seen numerous stories from this!

  5. Chaz says:

    This is one of the stupidest headlines of all time. How can you simultaneously have “as many as . . . ” and “maybe more”? Congrats on the consistently good work!

  6. Bart says:

    We are becoming Spain!

  7. Jimbino says:

    Though I’m trained in nuclear physics and law, I find it much more profitable to spend my energies gaming the socialist system, from Medicare, to Medicaid, Obamacare, Unemployment Compensiation, SS disability, foodstamps, EITC and so on.

    If I were a breeding woman, I would totally game the system by making babies with various men, living on alimony, child-support, Medicaid, foodstamps, EITC and so on. Why the hell would I go in debt to gain a degree in Social Services?

    Do you realize that a woman who has a baby fathered by a guy on SS gains 75% of his SS payments for the child until some 23 years of age? Damn, 4 kids fathered by SS guys could bring in some $60,000 in tax-free dollars per year. Stupid are the breeding women who marry for “love” in a socialist country like the USSA.