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Is the Affordable Care Act Different from Romneycare? A Labor Economics Perspective


  • Casey B. Mulligan


Measured in percentage points, the Affordable Care Act will, by 2015, add about fourteen times more to average marginal labor income tax rates nationwide than the Massachusetts health reform added to average rates in Massachusetts following its 2006 statewide health reform. The rate impacts are different between the two laws for several reasons, especially that: the populations subject to the two laws are different, the Affordable Care Act's employer penalty is an order of magnitude greater, before either reform Massachusetts had already been offering more means-tested and employment-tested health insurance assistance than other states had, and the subsidized health insurance plans created by the Massachusetts reform were less substitutable for employer-provided insurance than are the subsidized plans to be created nationwide next year.

Suggested Citation

  • Casey B. Mulligan, 2013. "Is the Affordable Care Act Different from Romneycare? A Labor Economics Perspective," NBER Working Papers 19366, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19366
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kolstad, Jonathan T. & Kowalski, Amanda E., 2016. "Mandate-based health reform and the labor market: Evidence from the Massachusetts reform," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 81-106.
    2. Casey B. Mulligan, 2013. "Average Marginal Labor Income Tax Rates under the Affordable Care Act," NBER Working Papers 19365, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Aaron S. Yelowitz, 1995. "The Medicaid Notch, Labor Supply, and Welfare Participation: Evidence from Eligibility Expansions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(4), pages 909-939.
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    Cited by:

    1. Casey B. Mulligan, 2014. "The Economics of Work Schedules under the New Hours and Employment Taxes," NBER Working Papers 19936, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Casey B. Mulligan, 2015. "The New Full-Time Employment Taxes," Tax Policy and the Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 89-132.
    3. Robert Kaestner & Bowen Garrett & Jiajia Chen & Anuj Gangopadhyaya & Caitlyn Fleming, 2017. "Effects of ACA Medicaid Expansions on Health Insurance Coverage and Labor Supply," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 36(3), pages 608-642, June.
    4. Casey B. Mulligan, 2013. "Average Marginal Labor Income Tax Rates under the Affordable Care Act," NBER Working Papers 19365, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

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