The Republican-led House of Representatives didn’t waste any time smashing a symbolic hole in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).
Last week, the House approved a bill that would redefine a full work week for purposes of triggering a requirement of PPACA. When the law originally took effect, it defined the full work week for purposes of health coverage as 30 hours. It was among the most contentious elements of the law, and led to the creation of “More Time for Full Time,” an organization of organizations opposed to it.
MTFFT members included the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, SHRM, the National Retail Federation, the National Association of Theatre Owners — nine “coalition partners” in all representing untold thousands of employers.
If these business owners and others opposed to the 30-hour work week weren’t dancing in the streets upon the bill’s approval, they were certainly celebrating the event with a blizzard of press releases and statements of support for the bill’s backers.
“The National Restaurant Association applauds the House passage of the ‘Save American Workers Act.’ We have long supported this bipartisan effort to set the definition of full-time under the ACA to 40-hours per week, reflecting more traditional workforce patterns — an issue critical to our industry,” the NRA said in a statement. “We appreciate the leadership of Representatives Young and Lipinski in pushing this bill forward on both sides of the aisle.”
The NRA noted that the bill’s supporters firmly believed the 30-hour week wasn’t helping anyone get health coverage. Instead, the NRA and others argued, the 30-hour cutoff led many employers to cut back the hours of people they considered to be part-timers to less than 30 hours to avoid triggering the law’s requirements.
“Retailers have voluntarily offered health care coverage to their employees and their families for decades and restoring the historic 40-hour work week threshold is critical to allowing them to continue to offer this coverage,” said Christine Pollack, the Retail Industry Leaders Association vice president of government affairs.