As an early retiree, I can tell you first hand how the Affordable Care Act has been a tremendous help financially. If you’ve got no debt and a modest lifestyle, you don’t need much income to live on and, prior to 2014, health care would have been one of your biggest expenses, even if you were in good health and didn’t have to worry about getting coverage.
It’s easy to see how the ranks of early-retirees will swell, however, the effect will be limited as most people have not saved nearly enough to exit their cubicles for good.
For younger workers, however, it’s a different situation since they’ve got many years of employment ahead of them rather than already thinking about calling it quits as someone in their 40s or 50s might be doing and here’s where it gets interesting, as explained by CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf the other day:
It’s clear there’s a big disincentive to work – the non-partisan CBO chief says so himself.
Former Bush Administration economist Keith Hennessey takes a stab at the impact this would have for a young family thinking about improving their lot in life by working more or seeking higher paying jobs (that typically require more hours and/or stress). However, you slice it, this results in some horrendous marginal tax rates, particularly when you factor in other government benefits that are reduced or lost as incomes rise.