By Sam Baker - 04/17/12 06:27 PM EDT
To be sure, implementing the healthcare law will require a significant number of new federal employees, and HHS is staffing up. More than half of the people HHS has hired since March 2010 are in the two offices handling most of the implementation effort: the Office of the Secretary and the agency that oversees Medicare and Medicaid.
Still, the healthcare law has not produced a sharp spike in HHS employment. And the overall growth under Obama, including the year he spent trying to get the law passed, is lower than under former President George W. Bush.
Bush presided over a massive boost to HHS in 2007, when employment at the department shot up by 16 percent from the year before. It has risen 3 to 5 percent per year since then.