(Screen Shot credit, Rare)
President Obama’s threatened veto of legislation defining full-time work as 40 hours a week instead of 30 hours reneges on another of his many Obamacare promises.
For four years we’ve heard the president repeatedly boast that he is willing to work with Republicans if they propose changes to improve Obamacare rather than repeal it.
That boast was a lie and his veto threat proves it.
Obamacare requires employers with 50 or more full-time employees to provide health insurance or pay a fine. That employer mandate means the government must define a full-time employee. The law sets it as someone who works 30 hours or more a week.
For the last few years there have been numerous reports of employers shifting their employees who were working 35 or 40 hours a week to 29 hours or fewer. That employee category even has a name: the “29ers.”
I’ve interviewed several people myself who told me their employers had sent out notices informing them that they would soon be limited to 29 hours a week. In most cases the only explanation given was an effort to control costs.
Of course, the vast majority of employers don’t announce they are making those changes because of Obamacare; the last thing they want to do is tick off an administration—which includes the IRS—that can be very vindictive.
Republicans listened to ongoing complaints from employer groups and workers and decided that one of the first things they would do if they had control of the House and Senate would be to sponsor legislation changing the definition of full time under Obamacare to 40 hours a week.
The House just passed its version, with more than a dozen Democrats voting for it, and there are at least a few Senate Democrats who will vote yea also.
Obama doesn’t care. He says if the bill gets to his desk he’ll veto it, even though the bipartisan bill clearly addresses a flaw in Obamacare.
Democrats say changing the full-time definition would hurt working Americans because some employers would shift 40-hour workers to 39 hours to avoid the insurance mandate. And that’s certainly possible, but most working Americans would take 39 hours a week over 29.
But here again the president and the Democrats who back him on this issue demonstrate their utter lack of understanding of how the economy works.
Those most likely to not have employer-provided coverage tend to be in lower-paid jobs that often demand more flexible work patterns. Employees may work 32 hours one week, 38 the next and 45 the next, depending on the employer’s needs and other employees’ availability. Think of the restaurant, hotel and other service sector industries.
Read more at Rare