There's a countdown on inside the human resources departments and executive offices of businesses of every size. Others call it a ticking time bomb that could rock the U.S. economy.
Either way, all eyes in the business world are locked on 2014. The date when many of the new employer health insurance rules under the Affordable Care Act – aka Obamacare – kick in.
Laced within the health care law's 2,000 pages – along with the reams of regulations that have been added since then – are various incentives and disincentives that could cause some businesses across the country to act in seemingly strange ways.
For example, a fast-growing small business racking up profits and burning up its balance sheet could all of a sudden slam the brakes on hiring as the firm approaches its fiftieth full-time employee.
Why? Because that's the threshold when the regulations of Obamacare would apply to this theoretical small business. Some argue that an otherwise-growing businesses could choose to artificially restrain its forward momentum, curtailing or ceasing its hiring patterns. All to avoid falling under the insurance strictures of Obamacare.