House vote today on bill to change ‘full-time’ definition for health care law

The Wisconsin Gazette

The U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote today (Jan. 8) on H.R. 30, a Republican bill that would change the Affordable Care Act’s definition of full-time work so that employers only have to offer health insurance to employees who regularly work 40 or more hours a week.

Without this change, employers must offer coverage to employees who regularly work 30 or more hours a week.

Progressive groups say the legislation is bad for American workers and families, and especially bad for women because:

• Millions more American workers could face a reduction in working hours if H.R. 30 passes because employers could escape the requirement to provide health insurance by cutting the hours of the 44 percent of Americans who work 40 hours a week. These workers would not only go without health insurance through their job, but they have lower earnings to take home.

• Women work in jobs that employers may target for fewer hours. More than half a million restaurant workers, over half a million health care workers and over 440,000 education workers are considered “most vulnerable to work hours reduction,” according to the National Women’s Law Center.

• A million fewer Americans will have employer-based health insurance if the bill passes.

• H.R. 30 would increase the federal deficit by $53.2 billion over 10 years.

The measure is titled the Save American Workers Act of 2015, but the legislation puts millions of American workers at risk of losing full-time work, takes away employer health insurance and raises the federal deficit, according to Dania Palanker, senior counsel with NWLC.