NABE Economic Survey: Health-Care Costs to Rise Over Next Decade

A group of polled economists believe fewer employers will provide health-care coverage for workers over the next decade as the planned overhaul to the system takes effect.

The National Association of Business Economics on Monday released its latest Economic Policy Survey, and 60% of the economists surveyed believe fewer businesses will provide insurance for workers over the next ten years. In addition, nearly three-quarters of the respondents believe health-care costs will continue to grow as a share of GDP in the next 10 years if the Affordable Care Act is not repealed.

The NABE survey is based on the responses of 236 members of the association.

Economists also showed mixed responses on current tax policy. Less than fifteen percent believe the payroll tax should be permanently extended at its current rate. However, between 35% and 45% said they favor a permanent extension of current tax rates on income, dividends and capital gains. The survey also found that the majority of economists surveyed believe uncertainty about fiscal policy is holding back the pace of the economic recovery.

Nearly 75% of economists surveyed also said they were not in favor of sequestration, which was also the topic of a House Small Business Committee hearing last week. The House Committee hearing included a report from the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University that found small businesses will suffer more than 50% of the 2.14 million job losses due to spending reductions as a result of sequestration.