Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Why the 40-Hour Work Week Would Destroy The Employer Mandate Of ObamaCare

Under ObamaCare, full-time work is defined as 30 hours or more per week. Thus, employers with more than 50 workers would be on the hook for either providing health insurance or paying a penalty whenever an employee consistently worked more than 30 hours a week.  Opponents of the 30-hour rule -- mostly Republicans and other small business groups -- claim that it will be responsible for causing employers to convert full-time jobs to part-time.  On the other hand, advocates of the rule -- Democrats and the Liberal media -- have shown statistics where the percentage of part-time work has not gone up but, actually, gone down.  The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says the impact won't really be felt  until after 2016 as employers start to fully react to the impact of the law.  Of course, any logically thinking person would find it hard to believe that the 30-hour rule would actually increase full-time work.

Despite all this controversy, on January 8th, the House Republicans and 12 Democrats passed a bill that would redefine full-time work under ObamaCare as being 40 hours. Whether or not there will be the needed 60 votes in the Senate -- with at least 6 Democrats joining the Republicans -- is yet to be seen.  But, my guess is that no Senate Democrat will support the new rule and, as such, the bill will die in the Senate.  The reason is simple, the new full-time rule would literally destroy ObamaCare and its employer mandate.  This is because very few people today, actually even work and are paid for 40 hours.  In most states, employers are not mandated to provide paid lunch and work breaks in a typical 40-hour work week. According to the OECD (the Oranization of Economic Co-Operation and Development), the average employee in the United States worked 1799 hours annually in 2013; or, about 34.38 hours per week.  Even so, an employer only has to cut a 40-hour worker's paid time by as little as 31 minutes to avoid rounding up to 40 hours and, thus, having to abide by the mandate.

Lastly, if the bill does get through the Senate, Obama will veto it, and there is no way that there will be enough Democrat votes (12) to override the veto. 


House approves ObamaCare bill despite veto threat: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/01/08/house-approves-obamacare-bill-despite-veto-threat/

Is Obamacare causing a surge in part-time work? - CBS News: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/is-obamacare-causing-a-surge-in-part-time-work/

CBO: Labor Market Effects of the Affordable Care Act: Updated Estimates: http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/45010-breakout-AppendixC.pdf

OECD: Average annual hours actually worked per worker: http://stats.oecd.org/index.aspx?DataSetCode=ANHRS

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