ACA Impact Series

Analyzing the effects of the Affordable Care Act on health insurance markets, access and coverage, labor markets, and costs.


Welcome to Penn LDI’s ACA Impact Series. This four-part series summarizes the latest evidence on how the Affordable Care Act has affected key areas of our health and economic systems. Follow along with us as health policy and economics experts synthesize what we know, and what we don’t, about health insurance marketplaces, access and coverage, labor markets, and cost containment effects. As a new Administration takes office, we believe these briefs can inform policymakers as they begin to set health policy agendas. If you have any questions or comments about this series, please contact Julia Mitchell


Turmoil in the Health Insurance Marketplaces
Michael A. Morrisey, PhD
First in a four-part series, this Issue Brief explores the current volatility in the ACA’s Marketplaces and discusses key factors in their evolution over the past three years. It concludes with options for policymakers to address the turmoil in the Health Insurance Marketplaces. 

Insurance Coverage and Access to Care Under the Affordable Care Act
Stacey McMorrow, PhD and Daniel Polsky, PhD
Second in the series, this Issue Brief details the effects of the ACA on insurance coverage and access to care.  Despite substantial gains in coverage and access, disparities and barriers persist.  The Brief provides evidence on the implications of repealing coverage and access provisions of the ACA.

How Has the Affordable Care Act Affected Work and Wages?
Jean Abraham, PhD and Anne Beeson Royalty, PhD
Third in the series, this brief reviews the evidence around the ACA’s effects on labor market outcomes. The authors find that the law had minimal effect on employment, hours worked, and compensation.  It also provides important insight into the challenges ahead for the research community and consequences of repeal for policymakers.

Effects of the ACA on Health Care Cost Containment
Janet Weiner, PhD, MPH, Clifford Marks, and Mark Pauly, PhD
Fourth and final in our series, this brief evaluates the impact of ACA on health care costs.  It finds that although we have not returned to the days of double-digit growth in health care costs, the need to "bend the cost curve" remains an urgent one.