Longer Looks: Behind The Measles Outbreak; The Political Repercussions Of Expanding Medicaid
Each week, KHN's Shefali Luthra finds interesting reads from around the Web.
Failure To Launch
Now that Republicans are in control of both chambers of Congress, the push to slay Obamacare by a thousand cuts is officially underway. But if the first stab is any indication, Republicans are going to need some sharper knives. On Thursday, Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander, the new chairman of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, convened a hearing on one of the measures Republicans have been championing as a means to undermine the Affordable Care Act: changing the way it defines full-time work. Under the law, any employer with 50 or more full-time workers must provide them with decent health coverage or pay a per-worker fine of $3,000. To expand coverage as broadly as possible, the law’s Democratic authors defined full-time employees as anyone working 30 or more hours per week. Since then, Republicans have been invoking anecdotal reports of employers cutting back the hours of workers who are just over the 30-hour threshold to keep from having to provide them with coverage—even though the mandate was postponed until this year for large companies and next year for smaller ones. GOP lawmakers say the solution is to define full-time workers as those putting in 40 hours. (Alex MacGillis, 1/22)