January 12, 2015

U.S. House Passes Bill To Change Affordable Care Act Employer Mandate

The Affordable Care Act’s requirement that businesses provide health insurance to all full-time employees took effect on Jan. 1, 2015 for companies with 100 or more employees. (The requirement will kick in for businesses with 50 or more employees next January.) 

Despite the partial implementation of the requirement, the U.S. House last week passed H.R. 30, a bill that would change the definition of “full-time” employee from an employee who works 30 full-time equivalent (FTE) hours a week to one that works 40 FTE hours a week. The legislation, called the Save American Workers Act, passed on a bipartisan 252 to 172 vote. (Check to see how you member of Congress voted here.) 

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has promised the upper chamber of Congress will vote on the legislation, but has not said when that vote is likely to occur. The White House said last week that President Barack Obama would veto the bill and, at this writing, it does not appear Majority Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans have the 60 votes necessary to override a veto. Supporters of the change in FTE hours have indicated they need until at least the end of January to assemble those votes, which could mean the Senate will not vote on H.R. 30 until February at the earliest. 

MSCI urges its members to call their senators’ offices urging them to support the Save American Workers Act. You can find contact for information for all U.S. senators here.