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Politico reports that the US House of Representatives "easily passed legislation Thursday afternoon changing the Affordable Care Act’s definition of a full-time workweek to 40 hours, the first step in the new Republican Congress’ plan to dismantle as much of Obamacare as it can."

While the GOP-controlled House has passed more than 50 bills designed to repeal or place limits on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) since the landmark health care legislation became law, this is the first time that it has been able to send a bill to a US Senate that also is under Republican control. However, Senate rules require 60 "yes" votes in the 100-member body for a bill to pass, that it is uncertain that there is sufficient support to pass the measure.

Even if the Senate were to pass the bill, President Obama has promised to veto the change, saying that it "would significantly increase the deficit, reduce the number of Americans with employer-based health insurance coverage, and create incentives for employers to shift their employees to part-time work — causing the problem it intends to solve.”

Politico also writes that "business lobbyists pushing the change in this Congress had been looking for strong bipartisan support for the bill in the House, as it could improve the bill’s fortunes in the Senate. Backers include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Restaurant Association, Retail Industry Leaders Association and the National Federation of Independent Business." The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and National Grocers Association (NGA) also have come out in favor of the House bill.
KC's View:
I made a rather glib comment here the other day about the whole notion of it being ludicrous that a 30-hour work week would be considered full-time, which just seems antithetical to the way the economy seems to function these days. While I think I was right about that, I also think I missed the point when it comes to this legislation.

(I'll address this more in "Your Views," below ... prompted by some readers who took me to task. They were right.)

The Politico story makes a point that I do find thought-provoking - that the bill, if it were to be passed, might actually result in the federal government having a greater role in the way health care is delivered in this country, not a lesser role. Politico notes that even some conservative columnists have raised concerns about the bill since "the longer-workweek definition would mean fewer workers must be offered health insurance by their employer under the health law’s employer mandate."

From a selfish point of view, I have to say that I am intrigued by another passage from the Politico piece, which says that "the American Federation of Teachers, one of the groups lobbying against the House bill, said the longer workweek would 'close off a much-needed health insurance option' to contingent workers, including college and university adjunct faculty."

Ultimately, I don't think it is going to matter, because I suspect that the bill won;t pass the Senate, and even if it does, it'll be vetoed by the President.