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The GOP In The US House Make Changes To The 30 Hr Work Week In ACA. They Could Not Be More Wrong

Image from NObamaNoMas on Flickr

Image from NObamaNoMas on Flickr

This week marked the six-month anniversary of the Healthcare.Gov and healthcare exchanges going live.  The anniversary also marks the closing of the first open enrollment period for people to sign up for healthcare under the Affordable Care Act.  To the surprise of everyone, the healthcare exchanges signed up over 7.1 million people.  Including the millions of young adults who now have continuing healthcare coverage under their parents plan, the White House estimates that the ACA has helped nearly 10 million people gain quality affordable healthcare.

Aside from the great news about the ACA, the GOP is going full bore in their attempts to derail the ACA.  This week the US House voted for the 55th time to repeal key provisions of the law in an attempt to dismantle it piece by piece. Not to mention that the 55 different attempts to repeal the ACA has cost us the taxpayers over $50 million dollars.

This week, House Republicans voted to change the ‘full time work’ provision of the ACA.  Under the ACA employers must provide access to health insurance to all employees who work full time, or more than 30 hours a week.  The new bill that House GOP passed, mostly along party lines, changes the definition of full time to those who work 40 hours a week or more.

This is in response to GOP legislators, like NH congressional candidate Gary Lambert who told a group of college students at Plymouth State University, that the ACA is “killing the 40 hour work week.”  They claim that by forcing employers to offer healthcare coverage to employees that work 30 hours a week, employers have reduced employee work hours to less than 30 hours.  Corporations are doing anything they can to avoid offering healthcare to their employees.

It is not Obamacare that decides how much somebody works, it’s the person who runs the company,” Rep. James McDermott (D-Wash.) told the Washington Post Thursday.

The GOP is bowing down to their corporate masters by changing the law to allow corporations to have employees work full time, and still not be required to offer employees healthcare.

The Washington Post also reported that President Obama has already issued a veto threat to this bill – which has a snowballs chance in hell of getting through the Senate – due the fact that over 1 million people would loose healthcare coverage from their employers pushing the number of uninsured Americans up another 500,000 if this bill passed.

This move by House Republicans’ is exactly the opposite of what we needs to be done.  If they are afraid that workers are going to loose their full time status because the ACA says full time is 30 hours a week, they should remove the provision completely.  They should pass a law that requires employers to offer healthcare to all employees, not just those that are ‘full time’.

This is exactly what the AFL-CIO has been calling for since the law was first passed, and reaffirmed their position in a convention resolution passed in 2013.

The labor movement has pushed for a requirement in the ACA that all employers assume responsibility for contributing toward the cost of health care for their employees….

We all know full well that the corporate lobbyists in Washington would never agree to this, and that means the GOP would never entertain an idea to make access to healthcare a requirement.

House Republicans will continue to work to repeal this law….” stated Speaker John Boehner in a recent press release.

Mark my words, the GOP is going to use the Affordable Care Act as the major theme in their mid-term campaign strategy. Just like they did in 2012, they are going to stump around telling people if they are elected they will repeal the ACA.

It has already begun. “On April 1st Gary Lambert made a trip to Plymouth State University to meet with students,” said Brandon Lemay a student from PSU who attended Lambert’s meet and greet. “When discussing why he should replace Representative Anne Kuster, he cited his opposition to Obamacare as a great reason to remove her.”

Former Senator Lambert is no different than the hundreds of Republicans in Washington who do not want make incremental changes to the ACA and make it better; they only want to repeal it.  Over 55 times, the House GOP has voted to repeal the ACA.   By repealing the law they want to kick the 10 million people off their new health insurance, allow insurance companies to deny coverage to people when they get sick, take away the option for young adults to stay on their parents’ plan, take away the mandate for insurance companies to fully cover preventative care, and remove the cap on insurance companies profits.

Do we really want to go back to the way it was before? No of course not, but the GOP is obsessed with moving our country backwards, rather than pushing forward. The GOP believes that voters are stupid. We know that if they were elected that they couldn’t repeal the ACA, and we also know that repealing the law would hurt millions of Americans.

“I think the recent comments by Senator Lambert, and many of those in the GOP, about the ACA, show just how out of touch they are with real Granite Staters,” said Brandon Lemay.

This repeal Obamacare campaign strategy works great, just ask Mitt Romney.

Former Speaker Considers A Run In NH CD 02

From Concord Monitor

From Concord Monitor

Can you believe it. The elections were only four months ago and we are already talking about the 2014 elections.

I did hear the funniest thing this week.  Former Speaker of the NH House, Bill (the bully) O’Brien is considering running for the US House against Rep Annie Kuster.    Stop laughing, he is serious.

“I’m concerned for the country, I really am. I think we need another fiscally responsible voice down in Washington.” (National Journal)

Could you just imagine that campaign?  I mean everyone would have something to say about Candidate O’Brien.  The women’s organizations would cite his extreme views on women’s health.  The LGBT community would bring up his extreme views on gay marriage and gay rights.  Then the unions would have a field day highlighting his extreme stance against unions by trying to repeal collective bargaining in New Hampshire.

How do I know what they would say? Because that is exactly what they said this election. Speaker Bill O’Brien was the TEA Party leader who led the Republican party into the dumpster this election.  Literally everything that went wrong in the last legislative session could be blamed on Bill O’Brien.

I find it absolutely hilarious that he thinks he could win in CD2 when he could not even win both towns in his own district.  I wish I had an ego that big.

Since we are already talking about NH CD2, I will go ahead and say it.  I think that former Senator Lambert should also hang up his political shoes.  He would have been crushed in Nashua if he would have ran.  He is an unknown.  He rode the TEA Party revolution to the NH Senate (I am still scratching my head over that).  He had no real political experience.

I actually met Sen Lambert at a legislative event in Nashua.  We asked him questions about legislation being pushed through the NH Senate.  He would respond, I will have to look into that because I am not really familiar with that bill.  My response was, “Really, you are the prime sponsor of the bill.”  I would never in a million years vote for former Senator Lambert.

If these are the people that the NH GOP plans to put up against Annie Kuster in 2014, I feel pretty secure in Rep Kuster’s reelection.

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