Save American Workers Act of 2015by Representative Aaron Schock
Posted on 2015-01-08
SCHOCK. Mr. Speaker, nearly 160 million Americans receive health
insurance coverage from their employers. Before Obamacare, employers
were free to tailor their benefit plans to meet the needs of their
workers. Once Obamacare was enacted, however, employers with more than
50 full-time employees were required to offer government-mandated plans
to their employees or face steep tax penalties. In many cases, this
penalty could range from $2,000 to $3,000 per employee.
Obamacare mandated that a ``full-time employee'' is someone who is employed an average of 30 hours per week. As the administration has written new regulations to implement Obamacare's mandates, the costly administrative complexities have forced many employers [[Page H138]] to shift more workers to part-time status. According to a 2013 study by the University of California, Berkeley, as many as 2.3 million workers--or roughly 2 percent of the American workforce--are ``vulnerable'' to lost employment and reduced wages due to Obamacare's mandate. In Illinois, an employee earning the state's minimum wage of $8.25 an hour stands to lose up to $330 a month if the definition of full-time employment remains at 30 hours.
Additionally, Obamacare's 30-hour rule has caused great harm to school districts, colleges and universities. As many as 225,000 workers in the education sector are at risk of seeing their hours cut, hitting bus drivers, teachers' aides and cafeteria workers the most. Meanwhile, the rule creates a new burden for institutions of higher learning that seek to hire adjunct faculty to meet the demands of their students' course requirements. Not only will these additional burdens place limits on the services that institutions of higher learning offer to their students, but in many cases will cause the schools to dramatically raise tuition.