Farm equipment maker Deere & Co expects after-tax expenses to rise by $150 million this year as a result of the healthcare reform law President Barack Obama signed this week. Most of the higher expense will come in Deere's second quarter, the company said on Thursday. The expense was not included in the company's earlier 2010 forecast, which called for net income of about $1.3 billion. Caterpillar Inc. said on Wednesday it would take a $100 million after-tax charge to earnings in the first quarter because the new law will lower its tax deductions.

Obama on Tuesday signed the most sweeping U.S. social policy legislation in decades into law, putting his name on a healthcare bill that will help shape his legacy. Designed to revamp the $2.5 trillion U.S. healthcare industry, the law will extend health insurance to 32 million Americans who currently have none. The law could raise expenses for large U.S. employers. Industrial companies, which typically have large numbers of retirees, may be among those facing the biggest bill. Caterpillar had argued before the legislation passed that health reform would put it at a disadvantage against global competitors.