Retailers Cheer House Passage of Obamacare Fix Restoring 'Full-Time' to 40 Hours

Craig Bannister
By Craig Bannister | April 3, 2014 | 5:29 PM EDT

Today, the House passed the Save American Workers (SAW) Act (H.R. 2575), which would, for purposes of Obamacare regulations, change the definition of full-time work from the current 30 hours per week to the more traditional 40 hour a week definition.

In a 248-179 vote (with four not voting), the House passed the bill supported by several trade associations, such as the National Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing and the Textile and Retail Services Association. Under the healthcare law, employers with more than 50 full-time employees are subjected to a tax penalty if they do not provide those employees with health coverage - causing many businesses to begin reducing work hours or terminating positions to avoid the penalty.

National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) President and CEO Dan Danner cheered today's vote to correct what he called "one of the more disastrous" elements of Obamacare hurting the nation's small business owners:

"Small businesses across America today applaud the House for passing legislation to amend one of the more disastrous aspects of the health care law - affirming full-time employment as the widely-accepted 40 hour work week."

"By bringing the Affordable Care Act in line with common labor practices, the House has moved to bolster jobs, protect workers' hours, and reduce employers' penalty taxes and compliance burdens. The Senate should act quickly to pass this bipartisan, common sense change that will protect workers, provide some relief for small-business owners, and create greater certainty for the economy."

"The 30-hour rule is just one more reason that the American people cannot afford Obamacare," said Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC):  "In addition to paying skyrocketing premiums and suffering canceled health insurance plans, hard-working individuals in Eastern North Carolina and across the country are losing their jobs and watching their work hours and wages decrease as a direct result of the president's healthcare law.

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) explained how Obamacare regulations like the "30 hour rule" are especially harmful to women like the one she recently met at the grocery store:

"Time and time again, I hear from constituents who tell me there is just too much month left at the end of their money. And the Obamacare '30 hour rule' will further diminish the earning ability of Americans by resulting in fewer hours, lost wages, and lost jobs for hard-working taxpayers like the woman who stopped me in the grocery store a few weeks ago.

"She told me that her husband was self-employed and that the family insurance was provided by the company that she works for.  Her company had announced that they were cutting her hours to 29 hours because of this new Obamacare rule. In one day, she lost the insurance she liked and as well as a substantial portion of her income. As a result she's planning to take a second job at nights and weekends to make up the difference.

"Slashing a work-week to 30 hours hits American workers where it hurts the worst - their pocketbooks. The Obamacare war on jobs is especially hard on women. And that is why my colleagues and I are continuing the fight to repeal Obamacare and protect Americans who are being adversely hurt by these unfair mandates. We need real solutions that will get America back to work. The Save American Workers Act will restore the traditional 40-hour work week and remove another bureaucratic obstacle that's killing job creation."