Lisa Dubay, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute and one of the study's authors, says that Massachusetts' stability during the recession cannot be fully attributed to healthcare reform, but it is clear that the state was not hurt by it.
"Economic growth happens for a lot of different reasons. You can't say [Massachusetts' growth] is definitely healthcare reform, but it's very likely a part of it," says Dubay. "What we can definitely say about our results is that health reform didn't slow economic growth, because in Massachusetts it was actually faster than the rest of the nation."
What if another state had implemented health reform in 2006? I turned to Ohio, which is starting to implement elements of the PPACA, while awaiting results of the election. A 2008 report from the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services said the state's healthcare industry was "largely resilient to the economic cycles that affect the rest of Ohio and the United States."
If healthcare reform survives until 2014, what does this mean for Ohio, where unemployment is at 7% according to the latest jobs report, compared to 7.8% nationally?