Congressman Bobby Rush

Representing the 1st District of Illinois

Rush Votes NO on H.R. 30, the “Save American Workers Act of 2015”

Jan 8, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.) voted against repealing the 30 hours a week threshold and replacing it with a 40 hour per week requirement. H.R. 30, the “Save American Workers Act of 2015”, would modify the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) definition of a full-time employee, from 30 hours a week to an increase of 40 hours a week. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that it would increase the country’s deficit by over $53 billion over 10 years.

“House leadership is doing a disservice to the American worker,” said Rush. “Repealing the hours of the work week will cost 1 million Americans their employer-sponsored coverage and increase the number of uninsured by up to 500,000. As a legislative body we cannot afford to abandon our constituency and leave thousands struggling to afford healthcare.”

Since the ACA became law, 10.8 million new jobs were created in the private sector leading to a decline in part-time workers from 19.7 percent of all workers in March 2010 to 18.2 percent today. Under the ACA’s employer responsibility provisions, employees who work at least 30 hours per week are defined as full-time and are counted towards the 50-employee threshold for requiring businesses to offer affordable health coverage. Use of a 30 hour threshold in the ACA was designed to minimize the ability of employers to slightly shift hours or engage in other gamesmanship to reduce hours or insurance obligations.

By replacing the 30 hour threshold with a 40 hour threshold, employers would become greatly incentivized to “game” the law, putting five times as many workers at risk of having hours cut to avoid employer responsibility requirements. This new “part-time” employee model would completely undermine the intent of the employer responsibility provisions, and, according to the CBO and Joint Committee on Taxation, it would cause as many as 1 million Americans to lose access to employer provided health coverage and up to 500,000 to become uninsured.