The cuts were mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011 as part of an agreement to raise the debt ceiling after a bipartisan "Super Committee" failed to negotiate a balanced budget deal. If a new deal can't be hammered out by Jan. 1, cuts totaling $1.2 trillion will kick in automatically against military and domestic programs.
Congress will take up the issue again after the November general election. Several Congressional leaders from both parties said this week that they anticipate a successful resolution, but House Speaker John Boehner, (R-OH) told reporters that he is "not confident at all" that a deal would be finalized.
The healthcare sector has been one of the few bright spots for job growth over the last decade and through the Great Recession. In August, healthcare created 16,700 new jobs, 17.3% of the 96,000 new jobs in the overall economy for the month.
So far this year, healthcare has created 197,300 jobs, nearly 18% of the 1.1 million jobs created by the overall economy. Since January 2008 healthcare has created 1.2 million jobs in an economy that has otherwise seen a net loss of 4.7 million jobs over the same period.