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Health Care and the Economy

The Impact of Health Care Reform on Jobs and the Economy

Implementing heath care reform will have a substantial impact on the U.S. economy and job growth. The scope of these impacts is unknown, but virtually no American household will go untouched by the new law.

Job Losses and Employment Slowdown

Many economists, business leaders, government officials, and think tanks say that we are already seeing a negative impact on jobs—even before the health care law’s implementation. Consider the following:

  • The National Retail Federation says that Obamacare penalties on businesses “are affecting expansion, franchising, and hiring decisions” among the nation’s retailers.
  • Director of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Doug Elmendorf testified before the U.S. House Budget Committee that the health care law will result in approximately 800,000 fewer full-time jobs.
  • A telling example: medical device maker Stryker Corporation says it will cuts its workforce by 5% in response to new taxes under the health care reform law.

Hurting Businesses

America’s businesses—especially small and mid-size companies—bear the brunt of new costs imposed by the health care reform law:

  • Higher Premiums—The law does nothing to lower prices – instead, businesses will face new costs as a result of regulations, taxes, and mandates.
  • Compliance Costs—Businesses will have to pay additional administrative overhead.
  • Penalties—Some businesses will face a $2,000 or $3,000 penalty per worker if their company health plan fails to meet new government requirements. All told, these factors will hurt the ability of businesses to invest in growth and add jobs.

Increasing the National Debt

Initially, the health care reform law was supposed to have no impact on the national debt: Our nation would pay for new entitlements. But it’s now estimated that our nation’s debt will actually increase by $75 billion per year for the first 10 years of the program. In other words, we’ll be mortgaging our children’s future for a health reform program today.

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