Health­care changes could shrink la­bor mar­ket: CBO

Modern Healthcare - - Late News -

The non­par­ti­san Con­gres­sional Bud­get Of­fice said that the 5-month-old health re­form pack­age could ul­ti­mately cause work­ers to leave the job mar­ket, largely be­cause of an ex­pan­sion of Med­i­caid and fed­eral sub­si­dies meant to help in­di­vid­u­als af­ford in­surance. In an update to its eco­nomic and bud­getary out­look, the CBO said that the new law would shrink the la­bor mar­ket by about half a per­cent. Un­der the law, Med­i­caid would ex­pand to in­clude most Amer­i­cans whose in­come is be­low 138% of the fed­eral poverty level, or $10,830 for a sin­gle per­son and $22,050 for a fam­ily of four. For the first time, child­less adults would be­come el­i­gi­ble for the pro­gram as well. Ad­di­tion­ally, in­di­vid­u­als mak­ing be­tween 138% and 400% of the fed­eral poverty level will be el­i­gi­ble for tax cred­its to help them pay for their health cov­er­age in a newly cre­ated in­surance ex­change. “The ex­pan­sion of Med­i­caid and the avail­abil­ity of sub­si­dies through the ex­changes will ef­fec­tively in­crease ben­e­fi­cia­ries’ fi­nan­cial re­sources,” the CBO con­cludes.

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