House Republicans pass bill redefining full-time work to 40 hours

posted at 2:01 pm on April 4, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

House Republicans moved yesterday to correct one of the unintended consequences of ObamaCare, and to challenge Senate Democrats to demonstrate that they want to “fix it rather than nix it.” The definition of full-time work in the Affordable Care Act is 30 hours a week, which provides incentives for employers to limit hours for its employees to less than that — and it’s not just the private sector responding to that incentive. The House passed a new definition of full-time work that raises the threshold to 40 hours a week, and eighteen House Democrats voted for passage:

Eighteen House Democrats voted with Republicans Thursday to change the definition of full-time work as it relates to the Affordable Care Act, signaling that for some members of President Obama’s party the law remains a difficult political issue.

The bill approved Thursday would change the law’s definition of full-time work from 30 hours a week back to 40 hours, a move that Republicans say is necessary as employers continue limiting the hours of part-time workers in anticipation of the law’s employer insurance requirement.

That prompted a veto threat from the White House, and a further demonstration of cluelessness:

Obama threatened to veto the House bill this week, citing a recent report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office that said about that1 million people would lose employer-backed coverage and that the number of uninsured would climb by almost 500,000 if the law’s work definitions were changed. And most congressional Democrats, buoyed by the new enrollment figures, said Thursday that Republicans were merely bending to the will of companies who are using the new law as an excuse to cut workers’ hours and pay.

“It is not Obamacare that decides how much somebody works, it’s the person who runs the company,” Rep. James McDermott (D-Wash.) said Thursday.

Well, yes … and cost and price signals largely direct those decisions. Democrats made it a lot more costly to give workers 30 hours a week. Did they think that would not have any impact on staffing decisions? This takes the tunnel vision created by static analysis to a ridiculously narrow new limit.

Under normal circumstances, that kind of unseriousness should discredit McDermott and his fellow Democrats. However, Barack Obama and his party have spent the last few years filling the debate with sophistry and flat-out untruths about ObamaCare, so this just adds to the catalogue of discrediting statements. Peggy Noonan addressed this phenomenon today, noting that it comes as part of their effort to avoid responsibility for the easily-predictable consequences of their actions:

Her comments alarmed congressional Republicans but inspired Democrats, who for the next three years would carry on like blithering idiots making believe they’d read the bill and understood its implications. They were later taken aback by complaints from their constituents. The White House, on the other hand, seems to have understood what the bill would do, and lied in a way so specific it showed they knew exactly what to spin and how. “If you like your health-care plan, you can keep your health-care plan, period.” “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor, period.” That of course was the president, misrepresenting the facts of his signature legislative effort. That was historic, too. If you liked your doctor, your plan, your network, your coverage, your deductible you could not keep it. Your existing policy had to pass muster with the administration, which would fight to the death to ensure that 60-year-old women have pediatric dental coverage.

The leaders of our government have not felt, throughout the process, that they had any responsibility to be honest and forthcoming about the major aspects of the program, from its exact nature to its exact cost. We are not being told the cost of anything—all those ads, all the consultants and computer work, even the cost of the essential program itself.

What the bill declared it would do—insure tens of millions of uninsured Americans—it has not done. There are still tens of millions uninsured Americans. On the other hand, it has terrorized millions who did have insurance and lost it, or who still have insurance and may lose it.

Michael Ramirez uses his Pulitzer Prize-winning talent to make a blunter argument at Investors Business Daily:

ramirez-lies

April Fools, indeed. The Obama administration and Capitol Hill seem chock-full of them, and not just on April 1.

Also, be sure to check out Ramirez’ terrific collection of his works: Everyone Has the Right to My Opinion, which covers the entire breadth of Ramirez’ career, and it gives fascinating look at political history. Read my review here, and watch my interviews with Ramirez here and here. And don’t forget to check out the entire Investors.com site, which has now incorporated all of the former IBD Editorials, while individual investors still exist.


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Make it 48 hours. At least people can get a 40 hour a week job that way.

NotCoach on April 4, 2014 at 2:07 PM

I kind of wanted to watch the Ramirez interview (big fan, me), but the links aren’t there.

S. Weasel on April 4, 2014 at 2:13 PM

By this, doesn’t it imply that we are going to REQUIRE Obama to work 40 hours a week now instead of his at best 28?

RAAAAACIST!!!!!!

ConstantineXI on April 4, 2014 at 2:13 PM

Obama’s never worked a 40 hour week much less a 30 hour week in his life.

workingclass artist on April 4, 2014 at 2:18 PM

TalkingPointsMemo.com has an article proving that Obamacare has covered over 11 million new people.

HiJack on April 4, 2014 at 2:24 PM

Behold: The 39 hour work week is born!

MJBrutus on April 4, 2014 at 2:24 PM

Obama’s never worked a 40 hour week much less a 30 hour week in his life.

workingclass artist on April 4, 2014 at 2:18 PM

His days begin not earlier than 10AM and never end later than 3.

And even most of that isn’t what you’d call work. It’s not like he attends his daily briefings or anything else.

I doubt Obama gives us an honest 8 hours of work a week, much less 30 and certainly NEVER 40.

ConstantineXI on April 4, 2014 at 2:26 PM

…that cartoon from Ramirez’ should be in EVERY newspaper and periodical in the country…….that it isn’t….speaks volumes about the main street media…and the 5th Estate!

KOOLAID2 on April 4, 2014 at 2:27 PM

Republicans riding to Obamacare’s rescue….again.

Occams Stubble on April 4, 2014 at 2:28 PM

It’s become very sad, seeing the dismantling of America, from within. November cannot come soon enough. GOP, time for your A game.

Sabercat2 on April 4, 2014 at 2:29 PM

It must be very bothersome to the loyalist Hispanic (D) voting cartel that someone named RAMIREZ pens these ‘toons. Karma.

hillsoftx on April 4, 2014 at 2:29 PM

Obama’s never worked a 40 hour week much less a 30 hour week in his life.

workingclass artist on April 4, 2014 at 2:18 PM

He once worked 30 hours in one week and thought “I’m really knocking myself out here. Maybe I should take it easy.”

Occams Stubble on April 4, 2014 at 2:30 PM

“It is not Obamacare that decides how much somebody works, it’s the person who runs the company,” Rep. James McDermott (D-Wash.) said Thursday.

Very stupid statement.

In place of Obamacare, why not use these terms that are also related to costs and revenue when doing business, and that may take the decision as to ‘how much somebody works’ out of the hands of the person running the company …

Minimum Wage Laws
Interest Rates
Creditors
Customers
Location
Government Regulators
Unions
Labor Laws
Insurance
Suppliers
Shippers
Working Conditions
Safety Considerations
Health Hazards
Federal Taxes
State Taxes
Local Taxes
UN Taxes
Acts of God

s1im on April 4, 2014 at 2:32 PM

Republicans riding to Obamacare’s rescue….again.
Occams Stubble on April 4, 2014 at 2:28 PM

Sadly, that’s the real truth in this, as proven by this line:

they want to “fix it rather than nix it.”

The GOPe still clueless that we want them to KILL the whole dam thing, not put bandaids all over it.

dentarthurdent on April 4, 2014 at 2:35 PM

I doubt Obama gives us an honest 8 hours of work a week, much less 30 and certainly NEVER 40.

FIFY

cornbred on April 4, 2014 at 2:35 PM

Obama’s never worked a 40 hour week much less a 30 hours week in his life.

workingclass artist on April 4, 2014 at 2:18 PM

I think you had a few extra words in there.

bigmacdaddy on April 4, 2014 at 2:35 PM

FIFY

cornbred on April 4, 2014 at 2:35 PM

Mom likes mine better. :-P

bigmacdaddy on April 4, 2014 at 2:36 PM

Republicans riding to Obamacare’s rescue….again.
Occams Stubble on April 4, 2014 at 2:28 PM

First thing I thought as well. They’re not going to repeal it, they’re gonna “fix” it.

Cleombrotus on April 4, 2014 at 2:37 PM

His days begin not earlier than 10AM and never end later than 3.
ConstantineXI on April 4, 2014 at 2:26 PM

3? He only “works” that late if he gets stuck behind a slower foursome and decides not to play through….

dentarthurdent on April 4, 2014 at 2:38 PM

bigmacdaddy on April 4, 2014 at 2:36 PM

I think I like yours better too :-)

cornbred on April 4, 2014 at 2:39 PM

That prompted a veto threat from the White House

Interesting, isn’t it, that Obama has threatened to veto this, that, and various other things, but has actually only vetoed one or two bills? That’s because Harry Reid, (P)AZ, keeps the bills from reaching his desk. Must be nice to be Obama, with a gatekeeper like that. House republicans can pass stuff until the cows come home, and Obama just smirks because he knows he will never have to *really* veto a popular bill and face the political fallout.

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Health insurance has been outlawed, replaced with a welfare program that has been renamed “insurance.” – Ann Coulter

RushBaby on April 4, 2014 at 2:39 PM

They’re not going to repeal it, they’re gonna “fix” it.

Cleombrotus on April 4, 2014 at 2:37 PM

Of course they’re going to repeal it. They’re just not calling it that anymore because it doesn’t poll well. They’re calling it “replace”. Which means repeal.

John the Libertarian on April 4, 2014 at 2:42 PM

…has JugEars gone to Fort Hood yet?…or is his next trip planned….to be with his Hollywood friends or another golf outing?

KOOLAID2 on April 4, 2014 at 2:43 PM

When there aren’t any jobs out there, what does it matter?

Another Libertarian on April 4, 2014 at 2:45 PM

That’s because Harry Reid, (P)AZ,

HEY!!! Don’t blame Harry Reid (D) NV, on US in Arizona. We have our own PUTZ in John McCain. One of those two morons is bad enough.

E L Frederick (Sniper One) on April 4, 2014 at 2:58 PM

Is it 2016 yet?

Whitey Ford on April 4, 2014 at 3:05 PM

Obama’s never worked a 40 hour week much less a 30 hours week in his life.

workingclass artist on April 4, 2014 at 2:18 PM

FIFY

bimmcorp on April 4, 2014 at 3:20 PM

“It is not Obamacare that decides how much somebody works, it’s the person who runs the company,” Rep. James McDermott (D-Wash.) said Thursday.

This guy knows his base: Fat , dumb, and sorta happy.

CW on April 4, 2014 at 3:34 PM

Behold: The 39 hour work week is born!

MJBrutus on April 4, 2014 at 2:24 PM

that’s the whole point, pal. would you rather a company allow you to work 29 hours or 39 hours?

dbilly76 on April 4, 2014 at 3:36 PM

Another bill for show only. It will never get a vote in the Senate.

lonestar1 on April 4, 2014 at 3:42 PM

Behold: The 39 hour work week is born!

MJBrutus on April 4, 2014 at 2:24 PM

You’re probably right, but lots of hourly workers would prefer 39 hours a week to 29 hours a week.

If this passes (unlikely), we would have companies making job offers either 40 hours a week with a lower salary and health insurance, or 39 hours a week with a higher salary and no bennies.

Leave a little earlier on Friday afternoon, but don’t get sick!

Steve Z on April 4, 2014 at 3:47 PM

HEY!!! Don’t blame Harry Reid (D) NV, on US in Arizona. We have our own PUTZ in John McCain. One of those two morons is bad enough.

E L Frederick (Sniper One) on April 4, 2014 at 2:58 PM

D’OH! SORRY!!!!!!!!!

RushBaby on April 4, 2014 at 4:16 PM

How about passing a bill to stop spending beaucoup trillions?

racquetballer on April 4, 2014 at 4:22 PM

So, they passed another unconstitutional law to “help” those being hurt by the first unconstitutional law. (Sorry, but you can in no way justify labor laws under the interstate commerce clause; and justifying them with the general welfare clause just means you really don’t have any consitutional support.)

GWB on April 4, 2014 at 4:57 PM

that’s the whole point, pal. would you rather a company allow you to work 29 hours or 39 hours?

dbilly76 on April 4, 2014 at 3:36 PM

*I* would prefer the national government not be setting this at all. Neither in legislation, nor in regulations. Period.

GWB on April 4, 2014 at 5:08 PM

It’s times like this I wish I were rich.

I’d be running ads all day and night in weak Democrat leaning areas with Obama himself spewing lie after lie. I wouldn’t even comment on them. I’d just take clips of him telling lies and play them for 30 seconds to a minute.

I’d end with him saying the 7.1 million line. Or if he didn’t say it, someone from his administration.

Baggi on April 4, 2014 at 5:41 PM

It’s times like this I wish I were rich.

I’d be running ads all day and night in weak Democrat leaning areas with Obama himself spewing lie after lie. I wouldn’t even comment on them. I’d just take clips of him telling lies and play them for 30 seconds to a minute.

I’d end with him saying the 7.1 million line. Or if he didn’t say it, someone from his administration.

Baggi on April 4, 2014 at 5:41 PM

This is what the Republicans should be doing instead of sitting on their behinds and saying why do it when it won’t work. I’m glad to see them doing ANYTHING. If the Senate won’t pass it then they are they ones that are to blame. Then you advertise that. If you can’t get things on the government media you use billboards, sky writing, anything.

crankyoldlady on April 4, 2014 at 6:34 PM

TalkingPointsMemo.com has an article proving that Obamacare has covered over 11 million new people.

HiJack on April 4, 2014 at 2:24 PM

Let me guess, they can also “prove” it lowers costs?

Yeah… let me have some Ex-lax and I can “prove” the rest of the promises made for what this bill would do.

gekkobear on April 5, 2014 at 12:28 AM