Friday, January 09, 2015
Billy Long: House, Senate will work to rein in Obamacare
Obamacare and its harmful effects continue to be one of the top issues my office hears about from constituents in Southwest Missouri.
The House and new Republican Majority in the Senate will work together to rein in this law.
Under the president’s health care law employers with 50 or more full-time employees are required to provide health insurance to full-time employees. The law changes the definition of a full-time employee to someone who works 30-hours per week. On January 8, the House voted to protect workers’ jobs and wages when we passed legislation restoring the traditional definition of full-time employment. Many hard working Americans are seeing their hours and wages cut due to the president’s health care law’s definition of full-time work. The 30-hour rule in Obamacare makes it harder for many Americans to make ends meet. This legislation will restore the 40-hour work week and help the middle class. Many employers who provide health care coverage to their employees use the traditional 40-hour work week to define a full-time employee. The president’s health care law is forcing employers to redo their benefit plans, drop coverage and in some instances move previously full-time workers to part-time employment.
On January 6, the House passed the Hire More Heroes Act. This legislation makes a commonsense change to the employer mandate in the president’s health care law. This legislation encourages small businesses to hire more veterans by exempting veterans already enrolled in health care plans through the Defense Department or VA from being counted toward the employee limit in Obamacare. This legislation is about supporting our nation’s veterans, jobs and doing away with one harmful consequence of the law.
In the appropriations bill that passed Congress late last year there was no new funding for the president’s health care law. The legislation prohibits funds for Obamacare’s Risk Corridor Program, which stops the Obama administration from using taxpayer dollars to cover insurance company losses due to the law. This legislation cut $10 million from the law’s Independent Payment Advisory (rationing) Board. The legislation also included new transparency requirements requiring the Departments of Health and Human Services and Treasury to report to Congress on improper payments of tax subsidies, and requiring all health care plans to tell customers if they provide abortion services.
I believe the best course of action is to repeal this law. We should enact patient-centered health care reform which is fiscally responsible and sustainable, which is why I have voted for and the House has passed legislation to fully repeal Obamacare. Now that the House has a partner in the Senate more action will be taken on the president’s health care law.