WASHINGTON (USA TODAY) -- The Affordable Care Act will "significantly" increase
the incomes of Americans who fall in the bottom one-fifth of the income
levels, while slightly decreasing - by .8% - the incomes of senior
citizens, a new study finds.
Those in the bottom one-fifth will
see income measurements rise 6%; those in the bottom one-tenth will see
an increase of more than 7%, according to researchers at the Brookings
Institution, a non-partisan think tank.
The law also increases
incomes for people ages 25 to 64 in the poorest 20% by 9%, found authors
Henry Aaron and Gary Burtless, both Brookings fellows. They looked at
factors that are not typically included in income estimations, such as
how much employers contribute for health insurance, and how much the
government pays for Medicare or Medicaid.
"Most families will be unaffected by reform," Aaron and Burtless wrote.
"Their insurance arrangements will not change, and they are not
expected to pay higher taxes or premiums to finance reform or their own
In general, the law pays for increased health coverage
for poorer Americans, which includes expanded Medicaid and subsidies to
help pay for insurance, but raises taxes on higher-income Americans.
The authors noted that people with high incomes will see a "notable share" of income losses because those who make more than $200,000 a year will pay a .9% Medicare tax and a 3.8% Medicare tax on unearned income.
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