Cruz: ObamaCare is ‘forcing’ employers to cut workers' hours

Cruz cited recent congressional testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who said employers are hiring part-time workers in order to avoid the mandate, which requires employers to provide full-time workers healthcare coverage or face a penalty fee.

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“This is one instance in which Bernanke is right,” Cruz said. “In fact, U.S. employers have added far more part-time employees this year — averaging 93,000 a month — than full-time workers, which are only averaging 22,000 a month.”

The administration has said part of the reason for the increase in part-time workers are federal furloughs caused by sequestration.

Cruz and Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) are urging their Republican colleagues to reject any federal spending plan that funds ObamaCare, risking a government shutdown this fall. They say it's the best opportunity the party has to stop the law.

“Today, we’re approaching the last, best chance to stop ObamaCare, which is hurting the economy and it is a disaster for working people and their families,” Cruz said. “I’m helping lead the effort to defund ObamaCare, and I urge you to join us.”

Republicans have argued that healthcare mandates within the law will raise insurance costs for individuals and that employers who would have to provide insurance to full-time employees will reduce workers’ hours and stop hiring.

Democrats point out that the law is already benefiting those with pre-existing conditions who can’t be denied coverage, people younger than 26 who can stay on a parent’s insurance plan, and women who now pay less for preventive healthcare.

This article was updated at 3:30 p.m.

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