Health care reform undoing ‘job lock’

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The Affordable Care Act is providing a cure for the phenomenon known as “job lock” — when a worker stays in a position solely for employer-sponsored health insurance. That’s according to Katherine Swartz, professor of health policy and economics at Harvard School of Public Health, and Theda Skocpol of Harvard University, authors of a February 6, 2014 USA Today editorial.

They cite Government Accountability Office research that found that workers dependent on their employers for health insurance coverage were more reluctant to change jobs or start a business than those who are/were not. Now with the option to buy coverage through a health insurance exchange, the number of Americans opting for self-employment or for working reduced hours to care for family members is expected to increase.

This is a positive step for the economy, according to the authors, because “job market flexibility spurs innovation and economic growth.”