Save American Workers Act of 2015by Representative Robert C. "Bobby" Scott
Posted on 2015-01-08
SCOTT of Virginia. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
Mr. Speaker, the gentlemen from the other side of the aisle have already voted over 50 times to roll back the Affordable Care Act. This is one more attempt.
More than 150 million Americans get their health coverage through their jobs or through a family member's job. As for the Affordable Care Act, when [[Page H132]] we passed it, at that time, 96 percent of all businesses with over 50 employees provided health insurance for their full-time employees.
So that we wouldn't dismantle the President's system--rather, that we would build on it--we established a mandate. Those employers--those businesses--with over 50 employees would be mandated to provide insurance for their full-time employees. Ninety-six percent were already doing it without a mandate, and those with under 50 employees weren't subject to the mandate.
This bill would change the ACA's definition of ``full-time employee'' for somebody who works 30 hours a week to 40 hours a week. That puts a lot of Americans at risk of having their hours cut to just under the 40-hour threshold, so that a few employers--just a few, as 96 percent were already doing it--can escape their responsibility of providing the insurance.
They are less likely to suffer a job loss today because most people work a 40-hour week. Cutting below 30 is very unlikely because people would start quitting. Ninety-six percent were already being provided their insurance.
Now, if you are working from 9 to 5, with an hour off for lunch, suddenly, you are no longer a full-time employee. That is only 35 hours. If the employer sends everybody home at 4 on Fridays, that is 39 hours. You are no longer a full-time employee.
As a result, many people--those currently working between 30 and 40 and those who will have their hours cut--will suddenly be part-time employees, not entitled to employer-provided health insurance. According to the Congressional Budget Office, that is about a million people who will lose their employer-based health coverage.
Mr. Speaker, this is just another attack on the health security of American families. It is an attack that families do not want, but it will help that handful of businesses that just wants to deny hardworking employees their health insurance.
I want to put one thing on the record. We have had more consecutive months of 200,000-plus job growth than anytime in recent history, so the job-killing aspect of it can't be doing too badly--a lot more than there were under the previous administration.
We ought to be building on the ACA, not diminishing it. We ought to be working to strengthen it, including fully expanding Medicaid to all 50 States. We can do better. This hurts families.
It might help a few businesses that want to deny hardworking Americans their health coverage that has been mandated, although 96 percent of businesses already were doing it.