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The New Year began with our political leadership in Washington, DC finally reaching an agreement on a permanent tax cut for 98% of Americans.  No longer will it be known as the temporary Bush tax cuts. It was not pretty to watch, but it was instructive. It marks the first of many more compromises that will be made during the year to begin the process of reigning in deficit spending and stabilizing our Nation's debt crisis.

 

What does this mean to the U.S. economy and to employment for 2013?  Essentially, it is good news. This should not be as a surprise for most of our readers, but it probably means more of what we experienced in 2012.  A slow growing economy with employers cautiously hiring for critical positions, while trying to understand how the Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as Obama Care, will impact their costs and employee insurance plans. (WageWatch) Read the complete article  

Top Stories: Lodging & Gaming
Happy New Year: Minimum Wage Increasing in 10 States
Workers in Rhode Island will see the highest minimum wage increase at 35 cents to $7.75 an hour. In nine other states -- Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont and Washington -- the minimum wage will jump 10 and 15 cents an hour. The increases in these states are the result of state "indexing" laws that require automatic annual adjustments to keep pace with rising living costs. (CNN Money)  Read the complete article
Top Stories: Healthcare
Demand For PAs To Rise With Health Care Growth
It's expected that there will be a greater need for primary health-care providers as the demand for health-care services continues to grow. Physician assistants can help alleviate some of this pressure as they work alongside physicians in many health-care settings. (Houston Chronicle) Read the complete article
Orthopedic Surgeon Compensation Facts
Average income for orthopedic surgeons in 2012 was $315,000 - a decline from 2010. (Becker ASC Review) Read the complete article
 VC In 2013: Robert More of Frazier Healthcare on Our 'Broken System'
I am a health-care person, and so I am biased. But health care's biggest problem is getting the right patient in front of the right provider at the right time. The system is terribly broken. We spend more than any other country. And our acute health care is second to none. But health is not about acute events. It is lifestyle, prevention, education and personal responsibility.
(Wall Street Journal)  Read the complete article
ACA Tops List of 5 Biggest Physician Concerns For 2013
In December, the Physicians Foundation put together a list of the top five issues affecting doctors in 2013, basing its predictions on what they reported in 2012 surveys. The issues the foundation lays out are familiar, but it said developments such as the Affordable Care Act and physician-hospital consolidation only will intensify in 2013. (American Medical News)  Read the complete article
Top Stories: Human Resources
Health Care Law May Mean Less Hiring In 2013
Many businesses plan to bring on more part-time workers next year, trim the hours of full-time employees or curtail hiring because of the new health care law, human resource firms say. (USA Today) Read the complete article
How to Reduce Pension Risks
Managing the financial risk associated with pension obligations has become a high priority for many organizations in the current economic environment.   Leading pension consultants are currently recommending that employers "derisk" their pension plans within a time they specify via a "glide path" investment strategy. (CFO) Read the complete article
Employer Costs For Defined Benefit and Defined Contribution Retirement Plans
Private industry employers now spend more per employee hour worked for defined contribution retirement plans (retirement plans that specify the level of employer contributions and place those contributions into individual employee accounts) than for defined benefit retirement plans (plans that provide employees with guaranteed retirement benefits that are based on a benefit formula). (Bureau of Labor Statistics)  Read the complete article
Employers Must Offer Family Care, Affordable or Not
In a long-awaited interpretation of the new health care law, the Obama administration said Monday that employers must offer health insurance to employees and their children, but will not be subject to any penalties if family coverage is unaffordable to workers. (NY Times) Read the complete article
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