February 5th, 2014
Econintersect: What is the unintended consequences of the Affordable Care Act. Econintersect, amoung many, have been critical of this improperly vetted legislation. The unintended consequences are headlines almost daily. But all the unintended consequences may not be negative. A study based on the effect of a major health care reform in Massachusetts found that effects of this legislation stretched well beyond health care - the reform reduced the total amount of debt that was past due, the fraction of all debt that was past due, improved credit scores and reduced personal bankruptcies.
There was also suggestive evidence that the reform lowered the total amount of debt and decreased third party collections. The effects were most pronounced for individuals who had limited access to credit markets before the reform. These results show that health care reform has implications that extend well beyond the health and health care utilization of those who gain insurance coverage.