Chairman John Kline spoke passionately for the need to approve H.R. 30 Save American Workers Act ….
Passionate – YES.
Disingenuous YES ! ! !
Heck, even Congressman Todd Young (R-IN-09) appears to be chuckling at Chairman Kline’s comments as he expressed his concerns for “some of the Nation’s largest labor unions” specifically, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the AFL-CIO, rallying his Republican colleagues :
“Let’s tell the country’s union leaders that we share your concerns and are prepared to do something about it.”
Hard to believe that Chairman Kline is moved to support unionized workers based on his past efforts to at union-bashing … but maybe the underlying concern is not the workers but the owners as he also said : “The law punishes employers who provide workers with full-time jobs” as support for changing the ACA’s full-time definition to 40 hours comes from the National Restaurant Association, the National Retail Federation, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and some trade groups that represent companies with large shares of part-time workers.
But let’s do a little Fact Check on Chairman Kline’s claim about what the union’s said about the Save American Workers Act …
From the Teamsters :
Proponents of this legislation claim that they want to help part-time workers. However, the bill would exacerbate the problem in purports to solve. The “Save American Workers Act” will actually hurt millions of workers and the U.S. economy. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters urges you to vote no on H.R. 30.
From the AFL-CIO :
On behalf of the AFL-CIO, I urge you to vote against the misnamed Save American Workers Act. This bill will result in lost work hours for 6.5 million workers, and it will cause many to lose their employment-based insurance coverage, resulting in higher costs for government-subsidized health coverage.
Congress should strengthen the employer shared responsibility requirement and eliminate the hours cliff, not simply move it. The employer responsibility requirement should be strengthened by lowering the threshold, requiring employers to provide coverage for workers who work 20 hours a week or more or risk a penalty, and by applying a pro rata penalty if workers with fewer than 20 hours are not offered coverage. This is the only way to protect groups of workers that will lose wages under the existing incentive to reduce hours.
We look forward to working with you to strengthen the employer responsibility rules of the ACA, by extending coverage requirements to all workers and improving requirements related to the affordability and comprehensiveness of coverage.
So when John Kline says “Let’s tell the country’s union leaders that we share your concerns and are prepared to do something about it”, he means it.
He does not mean that he will help workers … but he will work to strip healthcare from them. The unions wanted to expand healthcare coverage … Chairman Kline passionately disapproves.
And at whose cost ?
The Congressional Budget Office would increase the federal deficit by $53 billion over 10 years, by pushing more workers into government-sponsored health coverage.
If it does pass the now Republican-led Senate, it doesn’t appear the House or the Senate will have the two-thirds margin needed for a veto override. The House bill passed with support of just 60 percent of those voting Thursday.
And in fairness, Chairman Kline was not alone in speaking out on this legislation as Erik Paulsen (R-MN-03) added his support that “America’s workers deserve better” :
One study recently found that regulations in the President’s new health care law, like the 30-hour rule, are reducing small business wages to workers every year by $22 billion and that employment in small businesses has been reduced by 350,000 jobs.
Passionate – YES.
Disingenuous YES ! ! !
Presumably, Congressman Paulsen is referring to a study reported by Norm Coleman’s American Action Forum which “finds that the ACA has fundamentally changed the health care landscape, affecting premiums, small business wages, and employment. $22.6 billion in foregone income and 350,000 lost small business jobs”.
So factually, it is correct that “one study” did issue such findings … but the 350,544 jobs lost nationwide are from businesses employing businesses with 20 to 49 workers.
While the Affordable Care Act does mandate the responsibility and cost of insuring full-time employees to larger small businesses with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees starting in 2016, those employing under 50 actually have SHOP and other incentives to participate in healthcare coverage now.
Basically, the employer mandate requires all employers with more than 50 workers to provide health coverage to full-time employees or pay a fine. But the law defined a full-time employee as someone working 30 hours or more, rather than the usual 40 hours or more. The idea was in part to encompass more employers and in part to limit the degree to which employers cut worker hours by putting the cut-off well below the number of hours that most workers put in—employers are less likely to reduce a worker’s load by 10 hours than by just 1 or 2 to avoid the mandate.
How AFF can attribut job losses to a group that is not required to provide health insurance is confusing.
Yet, the one fact that is indisputable as stated in an American Action Forum post :
Obviously, the employer mandate’s actual impact on employment will be difficult to estimate until the mandate is fully implemented
But that does not mean that Chairman Kline and Congressman Paulsen will not be attempting to confuse their constituents and who really wants to improve the system.
But, heck, at least Erik Paulsen “earned” his pay by offering a letter of support from the Associated General Contractors (AGC) lobbying group … who incidentally contributed $10,000 to Chairman Kline last campaign and $8,000 to Representative Paulsen.
Didn’t take ‘em long to reward their benefactors with the legislation they wanted, huh !