The research found that employment remained stable in Massachusetts after the state enacted healthcare legislation under Romney's watch, which became the model for Obama’s reforms. Although there are some differences between the two laws, “the evidence from Massachusetts would suggest that national health reform does not imply job loss and stymied economic growth,” the study says.
Massachusetts did see job losses in the years after its healthcare overhaul, which Romney signed in 2006. But the RWJF study says the declines were in line with nationwide trends, making them hard to attribute to the healthcare law.
Both the federal law and the Massachusetts version are built around the same core policies: a new, organized marketplace to buy insurance; subsidies to help low-income families pay for their plans; and a mandate requiring individuals to buy coverage.
Notably, however, the federal law’s employer mandate goes further than Massachusetts’s.
The Affordable Care Act requires businesses with more than 50 employees to offer coverage or pay a $2,000 fine for each uninsured full-time worker. In Massachusetts, the penalty applies to businesses as small as 10 employees, but they only have to pay $295 per employee per year.