The conservatives in Congress are already queuing up to offer proposals that would
gut amend Obamacare. For instance, leaders McConnell and Boehner are already proposing to raise the threshold number of hours that employees must work per week from 30 to 40 in order to trigger the mandate that their employer provide coverage.
As Paul Van de Water of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities explains on the blog Off the Charts, this will be a destructive idea that will actually lead to less full-time employment:
Critics of health reform claim that employers are shifting some employees to part-time work to avoid offering them health insurance. But the data provide scant evidence of such a shift.
Moreover, raising the threshold for mandating coverage from 30 to 40 hours would make a shift toward part-time employment much more likely — not less so.
Only about 7 percent of employees work 30 to 34 hours (that is, at or modestly above health reform’s 30-hour threshold), but 44 percent of employees work 40 hours a week and thus would be vulnerable to cuts in their hours if the threshold rose to 40 hours. Under the Boehner-McConnell proposal, employers could easily cut back large numbers of employees from 40 to 39 hours so they wouldn’t have to offer them health coverage.
The bottom line according to Van de Water:
There’s little evidence to date that health reform has caused a shift to part-time work. There’s every reason to expect the impact to be small as a share of total employment, as we have explained. And raising the cutoff for the employer mandate from 30 to 40 hours a week would be a step in the wrong direction.