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Lift the pressure off of employers

Sens. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., and John Hoeven, R-N.D., will shortly have an opportunity to right an Obamacare wrong that is costing untold millions of workers lost hours of work and lost wages, while not at all providing them with the health care that was intended.

With bipartisan support in the U.S. House of Representatives, H.R. 30 passed by a comfortable margin this month from votes cast by Democrats and Republicans. It would define full-time employees as those working 40 hours a week, instead of the 30 hours currently demanded by the national health care law.

This requirement of Obamacare puts pressure on small employers to keep more workers under 30 hours. The result is that part-time workers who want more hours can’t get them and full-time workers are being converted to part-time status.

John C. Goodman, senior fellow at the Independent Institute in California, surveyed 136 fast-food restaurants that employed 3,500 workers and, in a Jan. 9 editorial in the Wall Street Journal, detailed the devastation.

Obamacare is having on wages and employment opportunities. “Out of 3,500 employees, only one that we know of got the kind of insurance that the architects of the Affordable Care Act wanted everyone to have.”

The rest only saw lost wages and opportunities. H.R. 30 would smooth one of the rougher edges of Obamacare, which is why it had bipartisan backing in the House. It should receive the same bipartisan backing in the Senate from our North Dakota senators, too.