Despite of the following, Obamacare had been on a risk as to whether or not it’s going to ultimately cost America jobs. Obamacare was designed to hit a number of key points:
- To offer affordable medical care access to low-income individuals and families that previously couldn’t afford health insurance.
- To make the process of buying health insurance easier by creating four coverage tiers and making marketplace exchanges as transparent as possible.
- To make insurance companies accountable for their patients by requiring them to spend 80% of their collected premiums on medical care for members, and by removing the ability for insurers to reject patients for pre-existing conditions.
- To control medical cost inflation over the long run by inducing competition, promoting transparency, and offering easier medical access to millions of people who’d previously never had health insurance before.
Obamacare met some of its goals after more than a year and a half on the books. People seem to be more satisfied with insurance policies now as they were never before.
Gallup’s Q2 statistics show that the uninsured rate stood at 11.4%, substantially below the 18% figure logged in the quarter prior to Obamacare’s official implementation.
Medical cost inflation has also been tamer than historical standards, but that may have more to do with the lingering effects of the Great Recession than Obamacare’s marketplace exchanges.
In terms of reducing workers’ hours, although it was observed a few higher-profile instances of this happening shortly before Obamacare was implemented on Jan. 1, 2014 – nationwide movie chain Regal Entertainment e.g. moved thousands of workers to part time from full time and blamed Obamacare (data from a recent ADP Research Institute report suggests that no such reduction is under way).
INSIGHT: The percentage of the labor force working less than 30 hours, 30-34 hours, and more than 35 hours was more or less the same at the end of year 2014 as it was by the end of year 2013, just before Obamacare went into full effect – hence, worker hours appear to be largely unchanged.