The election is upon us. While the two candidates agree on some things such as reducing health care costs and improving child care, their reform proposals vary widely, with implications for the future of the talent economy.
Both candidates want to reduce the cost of education. By doing so, more people would have access to higher education, leading to more skilled talent in the labor market.
Clinton: Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, spells out her plan for higher education by indicating that by 2021 students from a household income up to $125,000 will pay no tuition at in-state, public colleges and universities. Households earning $85,000 per year or less will pay no tuition from the time Clinton would be in office. Additionally, colleges and universities that are historically black or serve minorities will benefit from a $25 billion fund.
Trump: Donald J. Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, advocates for a $20 billion fund for school choice. The funds would follow students to the school they attend, whether it’s public or private.
“Investments in education and job training, if made wisely, can pay off for employers and the economy as a whole, but as always the tough question is how to make the smartest investments — cost-effective and targeted to where they will do the most good,” said Josh Wright, chief economist at iCIMS, an HR software company in Matawan, New Jersey.
“Both candidates want to repeal the excise tax, so no matter who wins the White House, it is likely that it will be repealed,” said Steve Wojcik, vice president of public policy at the National Business Group on Health, a nonprofit association of 420 large U.S. employers, based in Washington, D.C.
The excise tax is a 40 percent tax on premium health care plans. Without this tax, employers would be able to remain more competitive among talent that seeks generous benefits offerings. Additionally, better health and less financial burden leads to healthier employees with less health care debt, a stress-inducing cost that impacts their work.
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Clinton: Clinton wants to expand the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid, and reduce the cost of prescription drugs. She also wants to expand affordable health care for immigrants and rural Americans. Clinton’s focus would likely be on limiting out-of-pocket costs, especially for prescription drugs, Wojcik said. Clinton also outlines preventative care, affordable contraception and legal abortions for women as part of her platform.
Trump: The Republican nominee wants to repeal the ACA and replace it with Health Savings Accounts. “Trump is likely to favor expansion and more flexibility for Health Savings Accounts and is likely to push to end the employer mandate to offer coverage or potentially face penalties,” Wojcik said. Trump also wants people to purchase insurance across state lines, promoting competition and lower costs, and his campaign site says that states should have the flexibility to design Medicaid programs.
“Healthcare and child care can also have a substantial impact by either freeing up parents to participate in the labor force or tying them down with concerns about the health of themselves and their family members,” iCIMS’ Wright said.
Clinton: The democratic nominee aims to guarantee up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave for a new child or ill family member, as well as the same time off for recovery from one’s own serious illness or injury. During that time, workers would receive two-thirds of their wages, while businesses incur no additional costs. Clinton advocates that the wealthiest Americans cover paid leave costs through taxes. A push for more paid sick leave requirements could raise labor costs under her presidency, Wojcik said.
Trump: Trump advocates for six weeks of paid leave for mothers, as well as a deduction of child care expenses from income taxes for up to four children and elderly dependents. Parents could also enroll in a tax-free dependent care savings account for these groups. An expanded earned income tax credit for low-income households would provide a rebate. He also wants to incentivize employers to provide child care at work.
“Immigration could help supplement slowing population growth in the U.S. labor force, but that issue also requires a nuanced approach to ensure social integration of new residents and a strategic approach to importing the skills most needed in the U.S. economy, whether for high-skilled jobs or low,” Wright said.
Clinton: Within her first 100 days in office, Clinton would plan to create a pathway to full citizenship, which would bring millions of workers to the U.S. economy. She’d also end three- and 10-year bars, which limit entry to the U.S. for people living here illegally for more than six or 12 months, respectively. Immigrants who pose a public safety threat would face detainment and deportation. Private immigration detention centers would close. DACA and DAPA would also be defended, ensuring working status for immigrants who entered the U.S. in 2010, before they turned 16, and who are parents.
Trump: Trump proposes selecting immigrants based on likelihood of success, while ensuring that open jobs are offered to American workers first. More advanced screening methods would also vet immigrants seeking visas. Vetting would also ensure immigrants support American values, and he wants to “suspend immigration from regions that export terrorism,” according to his campaign site. Criminal immigrants would be removed; he aims to have Mexico pay for a border wall.
Lauren Dixon is an associate editor for Talent Economy.
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