Amid Health Care Reform Debate, Let’s Not Forget about Jobs

Stethoscope rests on American flagRegardless of whether you support or oppose the Affordable Care Act / Obamacare / health care reform or even understand the intricacies of the law and the implications of the Supreme Court’s decision, there is still one fact that remains the same – people need jobs.  Once both major political parties are finished spinning the health care decision, the unemployment rate will likely remain stubbornly high, especially for individuals who face challenges to employment.

Congress will be in recess during the week of July 4, and will return to a significant number of issues including deficit reduction and appropriations, in addition to issues that need to be reauthorized:

  • The Farm Bill which contains the food stamp program
  • The Workforce Investment Act which contains job training programs and important services for youth, dislocated workers, and people with disabilities
  • The Older Americans Act which contains an important employment program for older workers
  • The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program which could change public assistance for families in need

Unfortunately, Congress is unlikely to address these priorities until after the election.

Health care coverage is surely an issue that deserves attention; however,  it is not the only challenge that employers or individuals face.  When asked to define the “American dream,” a recent study showed that the majority of respondents (33 percent) noted financial success. Other definitions included owning a home (22 percent), having a close family (21 percent) and working for one’s self (18 percent).

As federal and state governments and employers work to celebrate and implement these changes or work just as hard to oppose them, let’s not lose sight of the other important issues at hand and the jobs that are necessary to achieve one’s American dream.