One of the top pieces of legislation on the GOP’s Congressional wish-list this year is a bill that would change the Affordable Care Act definition of a full-time employee status from 30 hours to 40 hours.
The bill’s supporters, including Clara Stockeland – a member of the franchisers association, claim that the 30 hour threshold will result in the hiring of fewer full-time employees.
“If the workweek is defined as 30 hours instead of the traditional 40 hours, we will be inclined to hire more people part time rather than at the full-time wages they’d prefer to receive, Stockeland wrote in an op-ed piece. “No one wins, and the economy is quickly affected.”
But those who are in favor of keeping the 30-hour threshold know what would be more likely to happen – business will cut hours of those employees already working 40 hours a week simply to avoid having to provide health insurance.
Tom Leibfried, a health care lobbyist at the AFL-CIO, said those already working 40 hours are particularly “sensitive” to a “reduction in hours or wages those working part time,” The Hill reported.
“It is actually more expensive for employers to drop an employee down from 30 hours than it is to drop them from 40 to 39,” Leibfried said. “It has to do with the costs of retention and recruiting … There has been an on going erosion of employer-based coverage over the past 10 years, and it was an important part of the [ACA].”
“This whole thing was built on individuals getting coverage, businesses pitching in for their employees, and the government stepping in for people who needed help,” Leibfried continued. “That framework is undermined if you take out the employer responsibility requirement.”
This is not the first time the GOP has tried to go after this provision of the ACA. Last year, a similar measure passed the House, but did not make it through the then-Democratic-controlled Senate.
One of the 30-hour threshold’s biggest supporters is President Obama. As The Hill pointed out, “the White House noted Tuesday that Obama would not sign the legislation.”
This legislation is nothing more than attempt to get greedy business owners out of having to provide health care coverage to its employees. Politicians who support it are willing to sell out the health and well-being of their constituents all over pressure from lobbyists.