Dem backs GOP ObamaCare bill

Rep. Dan Lipinski (Ill.) on Monday became the first Democrat to co-sponsor Republican legislation to repeal the definition of “full-time employee” under ObamaCare.

In a joint statement with Rep. Todd Young (R-Ind.), the author of the Save American Workers (SAW) Act, Lipinski said the legislation would keep part-time workers from potentially losing hours under the healthcare law.

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A spokesman for Young said three other Democrats – Reps. Jim Matheson (Utah), Kurt Schrader (Ore.), and Collin Peterson (Minn.) – have also committed to co-sponsoring the bill, and that more Democrats are expected to get on board this week.

ObamaCare requires companies to offer healthcare plans to their workers when they have more than 50 full-time employees, and classifies anyone working 30 or more hours a week as full-time.

Republicans have argued that the definition creates an incentive for companies to only allow people to work 29 hours a week or fewer, and some Democrats are now coming on board with that line of reasoning.

“Today I am happy to join with Rep. Young on his Save American Workers Act to make a bipartisan push to a floor vote on this commonsense issue,” Lipinski said. “This needed change to the ACA will protect part-time workers from losing work schedule flexibility and potentially losing 10 hours of wages a week.”

Lipinski last year proposed the Forty Hours Is Full Time Act, which aimed to accomplish the same thing. That bill only has nine co-sponsors, but six of those are Democrats.

As of early Monday, the SAW Act had 196 Republican co-sponsors. It would reach 200 total with the addition of four Democrats.

Lipinski’s announcement was made the same day the Obama administration announced it was again delaying the employer mandate for some businesses until 2016.

This delay applies to businesses with between 50 and 99 employees, who will now have until January 2016 to decide whether to offer insurance to their employees or pay a penalty. Businesses are barred from cutting their workers in order to fall under the threshold.