The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the Affordable Care Act is already boosting household income and spending.
The Commerce Department reported Monday that consumer spending rose a better-than-expected 0.4% and personal incomes climbed 0.3% in January. The new health-care law accounted for a big chunk of the increase on both fronts.
On the incomes side, the law’s expanded coverage boosted Medicaid benefits by an estimated $19.2 billion, according to Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis. The ACA also offered several refundable tax credits, including health insurance premium subsidies, which added up to $14.7 billion.
Taken together, the Obamacare provisions are responsible for about three-quarters of January’s overall rise in Americans’ incomes.