David Gamage, Perverse Incentives Arising From the Tax Provisions of Healthcare Reform: Why Further Reforms Are Needed to Prevent Avoidable Costs to Low- and Moderate-Income Workers, 65 Tax L. Rev. 669 (2013), available at SSRN.
What if Obamacare changes the patterns of lower-income work? Murmurs in the news suggest that this is happening, for example through increased use of part-time schedules. In his forthcoming article, David Gamage explains the powerful incentives that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) presents to employers to ensure that lower-income workers will be insured through public exchanges rather than employer-provided health insurance. These incentives to differentiate apply for a huge number of employees, as they apply until households have income of between 2.25 and 3.5 times the poverty level.
Gamage supports the ACA, but argues that it presents lower-income workers and their employers with a catch-22. If employers provide health insurance, workers will overpay for it. But if employers do not provide health insurance, workers cannot access traditional full-time-with-benefits jobs. Continue reading "Obamacare and Lower-Income Workers"