The more things change …

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It’s interesting to me at least that as President Obama begins tackling all a range of major issues that will no doubt consume much of his second term – problems I detailed in yesterday’s post – not only are they issues dogged much of his first term, but they are also issues that many of his signature first-term accomplishments, especially passage of the healthcare reform effort dubbed “ObamaCare,” supposedly “cured.”

Let’s look at healthcare for moment – and make no mistake, this is a HUGE issue for the trucking industry. Why? Just click on this story and read about a link being drawn between obesity and crash risk among truck drivers.

In it you’ll read about a study conducted by the University of Minnesota, Morris with Tl carrier Schneider National that found obese drivers are more likely than their normal-weight counterparts to get into an accident in their first 2 years on the job – specifically, if their body mass index (BMI) exceeded 35, which translates into “severe obesity,” they were 43% to 55% more likely to be involved in a crash compared to a “normal-weight” driver.

Those are findings with all sorts of potentially costly healthcare ramifications for the trucking industry. And here’s the rub about it: providing healthcare benefits remains one of the biggest challenges faced by the U.S. business community as a whole. 

Indeed, more than half of the 500 senior executives that participated in a recent survey by Adecco Staffing U.S. said that providing healthcare benefits to their employees is the greatest business – and that this isn’t a new concern, either.

In fact, more than one-third of those polled (35%) by Adecco noted that healthcare benefits were their top business challenge before the recession.

[Here’s another “non-surprise,” if you will, as well: While healthcare continues to be the main concern among business leaders, Adecco’s survey salary and compensation costs trail only slightly behind at 41%, compared to 33% prior to the recession.]

"While there certainly have been political and economic changes since the recession started in 2007, it's interesting to see that senior executives face the same challenges they did five years ago," noted Joyce Russell, president of Adecco.

"Business leaders continuing to find competitive healthcare and salary packages as their two biggest challenges calls attention to the impact that the economy and changing regulations can have for an organization,” Russell added. “As regulations change, businesses are often put in situations where they're faced with figuring out how to adjust their systems and processes to comply with policies instead of completely focusing on ongoing business challenges and opportunities."

There’s a shocker … NOT! 

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