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Issues 2016: Has Obamacare Been Good for the Economy?

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issue brief

Issues 2016: Has Obamacare Been Good for the Economy?

June 27, 2016
Health PolicyAffordable Care Act
EconomicsRegulations

Executive Summary

President Obama and his advisers defend the Affordable Care Act’s economic effects by pointing to continued economic growth since its passage and implementation. Their conclusions, however, are unjustified because not enough data have yet become available and because the data that we do have are already showing the ACA’s negative effects.

Key Findings

  • As the ACA’s most damaging provisions took effect in 2014 and 2015, the U.S. economy’s trajectory worsened significantly—exactly in the ways predicted by the law’s detractors.
  • Based solely on recent economic growth, the ACA has subtracted $250 billion from U.S. GDP; at that pace, the cumulative loss by the end of the decade will exceed $1.2 trillion.
  • Lost growth in work hours per person has removed the equivalent of 800,000 full-time jobs from the U.S. economy.

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