Study: Obamacare Has Not Caused Employers To Shift Workers To Part-Time

Date: January 06, 2016

Anecdotal Evidence Does Not Support One Critique Of Obamacare, Study Suggests

The journal Health Affairs has published a study authored by Indiana University Professor Kosali Simon and others that shows the Obamacare has not caused employers to shift workers to part-time status to avoid higher health insurance costs. The authors said their study, which uses data from the Current Population Survey, shows there is “no evidence consistent with the thesis that the ACA caused an overall increase in part-time employment in the United States.” The Hill reported the study shows the “probability of working 25-29 hours a week has stayed essentially flat over the last few years, even after the employer mandate went into effect in 2015,” and the “probability of working 30-34 hours also did not decrease.” CNBC quoted Kaiser Family Foundation senior VP Larry Levitt, who said that the study suggests anecdotes about employers shifting workers to part-time are not a broader trend. Levitt said, “There doesn’t appear to be any substantial changes in the labor market as a result of Obamacare. … The anecdotes are real, but I think it’s just not happening in large numbers.”

What This Means For Small Businesses

The Health Affairs study purports to show that Obamacare is not having the large scale negative impact on the labor market that many had feared. Still, it does not mean that Obamacare has not had a negative impact on small businesses by increasing costs and burdensome regulations. And, since the mandate’s implementation is fairly recent, it is almost certainly much more harmful to small businesses than data may yet show.

Additional Reading

The Washington Examiner also provides coverage of the Health Affairs study.

Note: this article is intended to keep small business owners up on the latest news. It does not necessarily represent the policy stances of NFIB.

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