Texas public policy foundation
New Reports Say ObamaCare to Cost States, Businesses More

ObamaCare will increase health insurance costs for mid-sized businesses by nearly 10%, according to a study out this month from the Urban Institute.

But for small businesses with fewer than 50 employees-a group that critics of the new healthcare law say will suffer most-ObamaCare will lower costs by more than 7% while increasing coverage by 2.7%, according to the paper. For large firms with more than 1,000 employees, the cost per person would be "virtually unchanged." Despite the cost jump for mid-sized businesses, the Urban Institute claims their research shows that if ObamaCare had been fully implemented in 2012, it would have had, "a negligible impact on total employer-sponsored coverage and its costs."

But a study released last week by American Action Forum says the Affordable Care Act's burdensome regulations have already cost employers and states more than $27.5 billion-even before full implementation of the law. The report outlines the ten most expensive ACA regulations and breaks them down by total cost, paperwork hours (as reported in the Federal Register), and entities effected.

According to the study, twenty states have lost the equivalent of 300 full-time jobs worth of work hours to filling out regulatory paperwork, and five states face at least $1 billion in new costs. Texas bears the second-highest burden: $1.8 billion and the equivalents of 1,292 jobs now devoted entirely to red tape, or what the study classifies as "lost employment."

The report also breaks costs down between states and private entities, which have been hit with $20.4 billion and $7.2 billion respectively. Author Sam Batkins strikes a cautionary tone that contrasts sharply with the Urban Institutes findings, saying the state-by-state figures, "should be viewed as a floor, and not a ceiling for regulatory costs."