Health Reform Will Strengthen Nationís Economy, Says Health Economist
Paul Van de Water testified today before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce to discuss the impact of health reform (i.e., the Affordable Care Act) on jobs, the economy, and the workforce. Van de Water said the ACA “will significantly strengthen our nation’s economy over the long haul, although initially its effects will be modest.” Here are a few other important takeaways from his testimony:
- A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis predicts health reform will slightly reduce premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance in the near term. Many small businesses will pay less for a given package of benefits and will likely provide more comprehensive health coverage than they do today.
- The ACA will have many positive economic impacts over the long run. It will, CBO says, reduce the budget deficit — modestly in the first ten years, but substantially in the following decade. Moody’s Analytics says the lower deficits that it will produce will hold down interest rates, free up more capital for private investment, and potentially boost long-term growth.
- The ACA will also help build a more productive economy by increasing labor market flexibility for individuals and businesses; Moody’s Analytics notes that “if the bill works as planned, Americans will be more able to switch jobs and open new businesses.”
- Health reform will provide 32 million uninsured Americans with insurance coverage, improving health outcomes through more access to preventative and other health services and improving continuity of care. CBO suggests this could also enhance the nation’s economic productivity.
You can view his testimony here.