Changes on Horizon for ACA Employer Mandate

The GOP-dominated House of Representatives moved forward yesterday in its goal of redefining some of the key requirements in the employer mandate of the Affordable Care Act.

H.R. 30, the “Save American Workers Act,” passed in the House by a vote of 252-172. The bill would change the definition of a full-time employee under the Affordable Care Act from one who works 30 hours per week to one who works 40 hours per week.

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Despite threats from the White House that President Barack Obama would veto the bill should Congress approve it, Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced the same bill this week in the Senate.

Last year, the same legislation passed in the House, but was ignored by the Senate. However, it is much more likely the bill will see consideration in the now Republican-controlled Senate.

The passage of the legislation in the House has been met with mixed reviews. Opponents of the 30-hour rule have long argued that it would cause employers to limit hourly workers’ schedules. Supporters of the law say that it protects employees’ access to coverage.

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No matter which side you support, the action only supports what people who have long watched the changes to the Affordable Care Act have known for a while: the employer mandate requirements for 2016, and likely even 2015, will be markedly different from those in the original document.

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