Small Businesses Continue to Drop Health Coverage; White House Sends Congress List of Expensive Regulations

August 29, 2011 - Here are the stories that the WorldatWork Public Policy team are reading today.

Small Businesses Continue to Drop Health Coverage
Clarifying Health
The percentage of small businesses in the United States offering health benefits dropped from 47% in 2000 to 42% in 2009.
A recent graphic provided by Bloomberg Businessweek (below) outlined how states like Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, and Wisconsin all saw the percentage of small businesses that offer health coverage drop by 9% or greater. Michigan saw the greatest decline with a 14% decrease. (Continued.)

Congress May Cripple NLRB Post-Liebman, Becker
Law 360
Ben James
The recent departure of National Labor Relations Board chairman Wilma Liebman and the expiration of Craig Becker's term at the end of 2011 could be seen as a golden opportunity for critics in Congress to leave the labor agency without the quorum it needs to issue decisions or promulgate rules, labor experts say, but this would not be the win for business some lawmakers imagine. (Continued.)

White House will provide Boehner with list of most expensive regulations
The Hill
Erik Wasson
The Obama administration on Friday said it will comply with Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio) request for a list of planned regulations that would cost more than $1 billion to implement. Boehner wrote to Obama on Friday demanding more information about upcoming regulations by the time Congress returns from recess. He noted that he had asked for similar data in the past but had not received it. (Continued.)

Obama to tap Princeton professor to head White House economics team
The Hill
Peter Shroeder
President Obama plans to nominate Princeton University economics professor Alan Krueger to head his White House economics team.
A White House official confirmed Monday that the president plans to tap the labor economist as chairman of the White House's Council of Economic Advisers (CEA). (Continued.)

Time, Money and Unemployment

The New York Times
Nancy Folbre
What do people do after they lose their jobs, other than look for a new one? The unemployed put more time into unpaid household work, including child care, according to an important new study by Mark Aguiar, Erik Hurst and Loukas Karabarbounis. Their findings dramatize the limitations of conventional measures of economic well-being based entirely on market income. (Continued.)