What Should the Presidential Debates Address? Health Care and Immigration Reform!
Readers of HR Issues Update ranked "health care reform" and "immigration reform" as the top two HR public policy issues they believe warrant the most attention in an upcoming presidential debate. Rounding out the field were "Family and Medical Leave Policies," along with "Skills Shortage/Workforce Readiness," with "Pay Equity/Executive Compensation" and "Employer-Provided Education Tax Credits" a distant fifth and sixth place finish.
Here are some of our readers' comments on these and other issues:
"Health Care reform is the most critical issue facing employers today. Companies are forced to reduce benefit levels to continue to provide a somewhat affordable insurance plan. Without industry reform, we will eventually end up with more employers unable to provide any level of insurance benefits . . . ."
"We don't have an illegal immigration problem in this country - we have an illegal HIRING problem. It's not that there are jobs Americans 'don't want' or 'won't do' - the problem is greed by employers who don't want to pay a decent wage. Minimum wage, had it kept pace with inflation, would be in the neighborhood of $16/hour today…THIS is what needs to be addressed."
"Not that it would become an issue but most importantly is how to help the American companies compete against overseas entities that do not have to pay the wages and benefits which are expected in the US; how do we help these companies succeed and continue? This is most important to the American worker and American companies, large and small."
"If Congress can do something meaningful this year, they will have finally earned their keep. Given their past feeble efforts, I am not hopeful."
Thanks to all who participated in last month's survey. SHRM will be exploring ways to elevate the importance of these issues during the Presidential debates and to solicit all candidates' views on these critical HR policy topics.