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What Does It All Mean? Making Sense of the New Jobs, Healthcare Bills

With the recent passing of two major bills, the jobs bill (signed by President Obama on March 18) and the healthcare bill (signed by the House of Representatives on Sunday),  The Hiring Site thought it important to educate our readers on the specifics of these bills and the implications they will have on you as an employer.  Below is a summary of each bill, what the passing of the bill means for you, and where to go for further information: 

The Jobs Bill – HIRE (Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment) Act

HIRE was signed by the president March 18th. This bill is written to positively affect investment both in equipment and hiring. Business investment in equipment ripples through the economy, affecting suppliers’ inventories and their ability to produce and fulfill orders. Waiving taxes and giving credits to business is intended to loosen some of the hiring barriers, especially in a tight economy where a hire is seen as an expense rather than an investment in future growth. The main areas of focus include:

  1. Waiving the 6.2 percent social security tax for each new worker until December 31, 2010
  2. Getting up to $1,000 in tax credit for each new worker on payroll
  3. Company can write off up to $250k of new equipment in 2010 rather than depreciate over several years

Based on CareerBuilder research, employers report two of their top initiatives for 2010 are replacing lower-performing employees and rehiring laid-off workers. Employers are focusing their hiring efforts on filling jobs that drive revenue, evidenced by the year-over-year increase in job postings in the following areas:

  • Business development posting are up 4 percent
  • Sales postings are up 11 percent
  • Marketing postings are up 40 percent
  • Government postings are up 16 percent
  • Education postings are up 18 percent
  • Entry level postings are up 47 percent

For further information and analysis…

The Healthcare Bill – The Health Care &  Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010*

The healthcare legislation, as it is currently written, has elements taking effect both immediately through 2014 and beyond. Regardless, this bill will touch every business at some point and could have impact on hiring. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates 95 percent of legal residents will have insurance by 2019 under the current bill. The total cost of the bill is $940 billion over 10 years ,with $143 billion in deficit savings over the same time frame. The main points of the legislation include:

  • Immediate impact:  Health insurance companies barred from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions; children permitted to stay on parents’ insurance until their 26th birthday; indoor tanning tax of 10 percent
  • Effective in 2013:  New Medicare taxes go into effect for families with income over $250k and individuals over $200k; Medicare tax on “unearned” income such as dividends and interest; medical device excise tax imposed
  • Effective in 2014:  Insurance exchanges where individuals and companies can purchase health insurance will be created; subsidies begin for low- to middle-income people to purchase health insurance; employers with 50 or more employees must provide affordable health coverage or pay a fine up to $3k per employee; employers with fewer than 50 employees would be exempt from health care fines

The aging population continues to drive strong health care hiring numbers:

  • The health care industry has added over 631,000 jobs since the start of the recession.
  • Health care added 32,000 jobs in February 2010 alone
  • CareerBuilder experienced a 4 percent increase in health care postings in Q4 2009 focused on physician office jobs and home health care jobs.
  • More insured Americans will mean larger patient load driving the need for many different new health care roles.

For more information and resources, you can check out the following: 

*Based on the version of the bill passed by the House of Representatives Sunday, March 21st.

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