The House last week passed legislation (HR 30) that would relax the ACA’s employer play-or-pay rules by requiring that employers provide health insurance to employees who work 40 or more hours per week, up from the current standard of 30 hours, or face potential IRS assessments. The measure was approved by a vote of 252-172, with 12 Democrats crossing party lines.
A similar bipartisan Senate bill (S 30) is expected to be the subject of a committee hearing and a vote by the chamber within weeks. The legislation is strongly backed by a wide array of business groups and health plans. However, with a big projected revenue cost from the Congressional Budget Office and a veto threat from the president, the measure’s fate is uncertain as supporters try to muster the 60 votes necessary to overcome a Senate filibuster. For the 40-hour standard to become law over a presidential veto, the legislation would need to pass each chamber by a two-thirds majority.