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Congress considers more mandate bills

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The House Ways and Means Committee is considering a bill that could narrow the scope of the employer health insurance “shared responsibility” requirements.

The committee plans to mark up the mandate bill Tuesday morning.

The bill, H.R. 2575, would change the definition federal agencies use when deciding whether someone is a full-time worker for purposes of health coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

PPACA defines full-time as at least 30 hours per week.

H.R. 2575, the “Save American Workers Act of 2013” bill, would change the cut-off to 40 hours and would take effect retroactively.

The PPACA group health coverage “play or pay” mandate will require an employer with 50 or more full-time employees to offer a minimum level of group health coverage or else pay a penalty.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., has proposed another version of the bill that would change the year title and have the bill be effective after Dec. 31, 2013.

Rep. Todd Young, R-Ind., the sponsor of H.R. 2575, has rounded up 192 Republican cosponsors for the bill but no Democratic cosponsors.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, has lined up two Democratic cosponsors for a Senate version of the bill, S. 1188. Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., helped introduce the bill back in June, and Sen. Joe Manchin III, D-W.Va., came aboard as a supporter in October. The bill also has 11 Republican cosponsors.

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