A picture of Representative Yvette D. Clarke
Yvette C.
Democrat NY 9

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  • Save American Workers Act of 2015

    by Representative Yvette D. Clarke

    Posted on 2015-01-08

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    CLARKE of New York. Mr. Speaker, today, I rise to oppose H.R. 30, the highly irresponsible Save American Workers Act. This legislation weakens employees' access to health insurance, threatens employer based insurance coverage, and increases the budget deficit by 45.7 billion dollars due in part to the resulting increase in the number of uninsured.

    I have always believed that access to quality healthcare is a right, not a privilege! The Affordable Care Act's current 30-hours per week threshold for classification as a full-time employee was designed to discourage employers from circumventing penalties that support the successful implementation of the law. Raising the threshold to 40 hours per week would limit access to employer-provided insurance coverage, and thereby impede a person's right to access healthcare.

    Some businesses argue that the Affordable Care Act's classification of a full-time employee adversely impacts a business' hiring and its ability to offer other employee benefits. However, the facts just don't bear this out.

    According to the San Francisco Federal Reserve, when the Affordable Care Act's provisions are fully implemented, the overall increase in the incidence of part-time work is likely to be ``small, on the order of a 1 to 2 percentage point increase or less.'' Other organizations' analyses have also found little evidence that health reform has increased part-time work. In fact, since President Obama took office, the overall full-time employment rate has consistently increased, so much so that the current U.S. unemployment rate is 5.8 percent.

    The Republican majority is offering the American people a solution in search of a problem. This bill does not save American jobs, nor does it help the American worker. Rather, this bill relegates American workers to the second class status of the ``uninsured'' and in doing so denies them, what I believe, is their right to affordable, quality healthcare, which is something that all Americans deserve.

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