The House of Representatives opened the 114th Congress on Jan. 8 by voting 252-172 to repeal the Affordable Care Act’s 30-hour definition of full-time employment and replace it with a 40-hour standard.
Rep. Todd Young, R-Ind., who sponsored the Save American Workers Act (H.R. 30) said, “The House sent a strong message today that we stand with the millions of American workers at risk for lost hours and wages because of this quirk in Obamacare.”
The number of full-time workers on an employer’sis important because the ACA requires employers to offer health insurance benefits if they have 50 or more full-timers. Otherwise, they must pay a penalty.
The bill’s supporters say the ACA’s 30-hour definition of full-time employment will cause employers to reduce hours or cut jobs to avoid the play-or-pay mandate.
On Jan. 7, the Congressional Budget Office reported that H.R. 30 would reduce federal revenues and increase costs, adding $53 billion to the federal budget deficit over 10 years. It calculated that as many as 1.5 million employees would lose employer-provided coverage if the law is enacted.
Twelve Democrats joined all voting Republicans in passing the bill.
More than 300 business organizations supported the measure, including the Society for Human Resource. A SHRM statement issued last year said the ACA’s “definition of full time as 30 hours of service per week severely restricts an employer’s flexibility to offer a benefits package that best meets the needs of their employees.”
President Obama has vowed to veto the bill if it reaches his desk.
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