Thursday, June 20, 2013

R and D Senators Author Proposal to Change ObamaCare Mandate to 40 Instead of 30 Hours

I doubt this will go anywhere but it does signify a few major changes in the implementation of PPACA:   
  • Very few times have Republicans and Democrats worked together in this process.  This might be the beginning of a shift as we approach substantial implementation in 2014.   
  • Democrats are now increasingly getting nervous and expressing desire to change the law.   
All in all, this might help some employers, but it is a horrible ideal.  The economic impact of this would be to have hundreds of thousands of Americans hired at less than 40 hours a week with no benefits and it would dramatically increase the amount getting federal subsidies to purchase healthcare in the Exchanges.  Not that I expect PPACA to be anywhere near its projected budget, but there is no need to exacerbate the oncoming fiscal nightmare.  

This is from Sam Baker writing at The Hill:  
A pair of centrist senators introduced a bill Wednesday to soften the employer mandate in President Obama's healthcare law. 
The healthcare law requires employers to offer coverage to employees who work more than 30 hours per week. Some employers have said they will reduce workers' hours to avoid the mandate. 
Sens. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) proposed a bill to move the threshold to 40 hours per week, saying the employer mandate should match the traditional definition of a full-time worker. ... 
Collins said Wednesday she has heard significant interest in changing the employer mandate but acknowledged that many in her own party have resisted efforts to improve the law. 
"I personally do not think that is an appropriate response when there's such a glaring error in the law," she said. "I think it's incumbent upon us to try to fix it."Donnelly also acknowledged that some Democrats don't want to touch the healthcare law either because they oppose certain specific changes or because they simply don't want to invite a renewed debate over ObamaCare. 
Donnelly voted for the Affordable Care Act, which passed while he was in the House.  
Some liberal Democrats say setting the employer mandate at 30 hours per week was the best way to ensure that people who work 30 to 40 hours per week have access to healthcare. 
Others, though, have said they would consider to a change. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) told The Hill last month that he would be "open to looking at it." 
Moving the threshold to 40 hours would likely add more costs for the federal government, which would be paying for more subsidies to help people cover the cost of insurance they buy on their own. 
But, Collins said, the status quo also costs the government money. As employers reduce workers' hours, their pay — and thus their taxes — decreases.... 
The senators also sent a letter to Obama on Wednesday asking the administration not to enforce the employer mandate's penalties in 2014, to give businesses more time to adjust to the new requirements....