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This Week’s Debate: Healthcare and Defining Full-Time Work

Monday, January 26, 2015  
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Policy Briefing Week of Jan 19


This Week’s Debate: Healthcare and Defining Full-Time Work


What is a work week? That question continues to divide the Senate, where a bill to change the definition of a work week from 30 hours per week to 40 continues. Last week’s hearing on the issue became more politics than policy, with both sides citing statistics more often than listening to witnesses. The issue of the workweek definition stems back to the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) which set the 30 hour threshold for a full-time worker. The total of full-time workers is important for determining health insurance requirements for business.  


Since its inception, Republicans, and a few Democrats, want the law changed to the traditional definition of forty hours. Now in control of both the House and Senate, this is one of the first issues to advance. The House already passed the legislation, but the Senate’s 60-vote-threshold means a few Democrats must join with Republicans. The White House has been adamant they will veto the bill. WIPP supports the change as the definition runs contrary to the consensus of the business community, and in general supports amending the Affordable Care Act with commonsense solutions. 

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