Turns out a presidential veto isn’t the only thing standing between Congressional Republicans and changing Obamacare’s definition of a full-time employee to one that works 40 hours a week.
It’s also that the numbers don’t appear as favorable as they once did.
Why does the GOP want to change the threshold for who counts as a full-time employee under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) from someone who works 30 hours per week to someone who works 40?
The ACA’s employer mandate requires large employers (those with at least 50 full-time equivalent employees) to offer health insurance to those full-time workers or face stiff penalties. And Republicans have been saying all along that a 30-hour full-time employee threshold will cause employers to cut part-time workers’ hours to under 29 — eliminating those workers’ eligibility for employer-sponsored health insurance and, worse yet, reducing their income.
But a recent report from the Commonwealth Fund, a New York-based foundation that studies health care, said bumping the 30-hour ACA threshold up to 40 hours could do even more damage — as it would be just as easy, if not easier, for employers to reduce the hours of 40-plus-hour workers to fewer than 39 to avoid the ACA’s requirements.
And according to the foundation:
“At a full-time definition of 40 hours per week, there are more than twice as many workers at high risk of hours reductions because they are within five hours of the full-time definition at firms that do not offer health insurance coverage.”
Those figures have some conservatives backing away from the GOP proposal for fear that it may do more harm than good, according to a report by The New York Times.
The main goal for Republican was to garner enough Democratic support for the proposal to override the veto President Obama promised to issue should any such legislation make it to his desk.
But in light of the recent figures that have surfaced, it’s hard to envision a scenario in which the GOP’s plan gets that much support.
Still, the GOP is expected to push hard to change the ACA’s definition of a full-time equivalent employee.
Such a change would have major ramifications, including changing the ACA’s full-time employee calculation formula.
We’ll keep you posted as to what happens next.