Mandate-based health reform and the labor market: Evidence from the Massachusetts reform

We model the labor market impact of the key provisions of the national and Massachusetts “mandate-based” health reforms: individual mandates, employer mandates, and subsidies. We characterize the compensating differential for employer-sponsored health insurance (ESHI) and the welfare impact of reform in terms of “sufficient statistics.” We compare welfare under mandate-based reform to welfare in a counterfactual world where individuals do not value ESHI. Relying on the Massachusetts reform, we find that jobs with ESHI pay $2812 less annually, somewhat less than the cost of ESHI to employers. Accordingly, the deadweight loss of mandate-based health reform was approximately 8 percent of its potential size.