The Affordable Care Act will have a dangerous effect on the American economy. That may sound like a political stance, but it’s a conclusion directly borne out by economic forecasts. In Side Effects and Complications, preeminent labor economist Casey B. Mulligan brings to light the dire economic realities that have been lost in the ideological debate over the ACA, and he offers an eye-opening, accessible look at the price American citizens will pay because of it.
Looking specifically at the labor market, Mulligan reveals how the costs of health care under the ACA actually create implicit taxes on individuals, and how increased costs to employers will be passed on to their employees. Mulligan shows how, as a result, millions of workers will find themselves in a situation in which full-time work, adjusted for the expense of health care, will actually pay less than part-time work or even not working at all. Analyzing the incentives—or lack thereof—for people to earn more by working more, Mulligan offers projections on how many hours people will work and how productively they will work, as well as how much they will spend in general. Using the powerful tools of economics, he then illustrates the detrimental consequences on overall employment in the near future.