NAHC Applauds Passage of H.R. 30, Legislation that Defines Full-Time as 40 Hours Under the ACA
January 9, 2015 10:25 AM
The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) applauded leaders in the House of Representatives for passing legislation that will change the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) definition of full-time work from 30 to 40 hours. Twelve Democrats joined with the Republican majority to pass this important legislation.
NAHC President Val J. Halamandaris issued the following statement:
“We urge the members of the Senate to immediately follow suit and pass the companion bill, S. 30, introduced by Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), Chairman, Senate Special Committee on Aging, along with Senators Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) said Halamandaris. “The home care and hospice community has no better friend than Senator Collins, and her reintroduction of this bill further solidifies her reputation as a fighter for the infirm, disabled and elderly, not just in Maine but across the country.”
Home care workers, without relief, would have had to restrict employees to no more than 29 hours per week to ensure their workers are considered part time under the ACA. A survey that NAHC concluded in December 2014 shows that the employer mandate would weaken patients’ access to care, reduce wages and working hours of home care staff, and require home care companies to restructure their operations to rely on part-time caregivers.
NAHC praises the work of House of Representatives sponsors Todd Young (R-IN), Dan Lipinski (D-IL), Pete Olson (R-TX), Mike Kelly (R-PA), and Tim Walberg (R-MI) for their foresight and leadership.”
During the news conference held to reintroduce the Senate’s companion bill, S. 30, Lisa Harvey McPherson, a board member Home Care and Hospice Alliance of Maine, NAHC Board member, and chair of the NAHC affiliate, the Voluntary Nonprofit Home Care Association of America, spoke to illustrate the consequences the current 30 hour threshold is having on access to home care services. During her remarks, Ms. McPherson stated that:
“This legislation is critically important… The current definition of “full time employment” will have a devastating impact on home care workers and the patients that we serve… With the oldest population in the country, the demand for home care [in Maine] exceeds the capacity of the volume of workers that we have today. It is also important to note that many of the patients that we care for at home qualify to live in a nursing facility, but with home care support workers, home care aides and home care nurses, they can avoid or delay nursing home placement.
With passage in the House last week by a margin of 252 – 172, action on the bill is moving onto the Senate side. A hearing in the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee is scheduled for January 22.
To urge your Senators to support this legislation - known as the “40 Hours Is Full Time Act” in the Senate - please go to the NAHC Legislative Action Center here.
For more on S. 30, please see NAHC Report, January 8, 2015.