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Obamacare seen having little effect on most NY employers: NY Fed

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Most employers in New York state made no changes to their level of workers in response to the federal Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, a regional Federal Reserve report released on Monday showed.

Three in four employers, largely the state's manufacturing firms, surveyed by the New York Federal Reserve indicated that they had made minimal or no changes in the workforce in anticipation of healthcare reform.

There have been concerns the costs to provide healthcare insurance for more Americans would cause employers to cut their workforce, or reduce healthcare benefits, or both.

A similar proportion of companies said they made no changes to their healthcare plans, although 11 percent said they were or would be scaling back or dropping health insurance while the same percentage of companies said they would make health insurance more comprehensive.

New York Fed posed these questions on healthcare reform as a part of its Empire State Manufacturing Survey for July. The report showed mild improvement in labor conditions.

When asked what they would do next when certain provisions of Obamacare take effect in 2014, more than 80 percent of New York manufacturers said they would leave wage and salaries and retirement benefits alone.

But 30 percent said they would likely reduce other employee benefits.

Separately, about 39 percent of the New York firms said they would likely raise prices they charged their customers to help pay for costs of healthcare reform.

(Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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