McCormack Speaks

Professor Weller Shares AHCA Economic Impact with Congress



Christian Weller, a professor of public policy and public affairs at UMass Boston’s McCormack Graduate School and a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, released an economic analysis of President Trump’s proposed American Health Care Act (AHCA) that was sent to Minority Leader of the House Nancy Pelosi and distributed to all members of Congress. Weller and his co-author Gregg Gelzinis estimated a shortfall of 1.8 million jobs by 2022 due to tax cuts and less spending on health care.

A recent George Washington University (GWU) study estimated a greater plunge in American jobs. However, their estimates were made before the specifics of Trump’s AHCA plan were known. According to Weller and Gelzinis, GWU deduced “that undoing the expansion of Medicaid and eliminating the subsidies for people buying health insurance would result in the loss of 2.9 million jobs by 2022 if these two provisions were repealed this year.”

After their analysis of GWU data, the research partners amended the original estimates to 1.8 million fewer jobs in five years if Obamacare was repealed. They wrote, “Undoing the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, will likely mean less government spending on Medicaid and subsidies for private insurance and thus less spending on health care in general. At the same time, the new proposed law, the American Health Care Act, or AHCA, would also cut taxes for higher-income Americans. All three of these factors will likely impact the economy and, thus, employment.” Read more on their adjustments, analysis, and findings here.

Calling Professor Christian Weller “a paragon of academic engagement,” McCormack Graduate School Dean David W. Cash says Weller’s work exemplifies the role of a policy school in providing decision makers with timely data to inform policy debates.

The AHCA bill was later retracted before it went to Congress for a vote.


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