A year and a half after the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, bureaucrats at the IRS and Health and Human Services issued an 18-page report outlining new regulations that will dramatically increase health care costs for small and large businesses alike.
The regulations, written by an IRS attorney, arbitrarily redefine "full time employee" as someone who works 30 hours a week for a business. Traditionally, most private businesses have defined "full time employee" as someone who works 40 hours a week. With this new regulation, the federal government is now removing the right of businesses to define "full time employee" as they deem appropriate for their unique conditions.
Kevin Kuhlman, Manager of Legislative Affairs at the National Federal of Independent Business, the plaintiff in the NFIB v. Sebelius Supreme Court decision, was not pleased with the new regulations:
This is the latest in what promises to be a nearly-endless amount of regulatory duct-tape, struggling to hold together a bad law that is nearly impossible to administer. The new regulation attempting to define a full-time employee is a classic by-product of the health-care law – more regulation, more red tape, more paperwork. The repercussions of this law and its regulatory jerry-rigging, for the small-business community, are endless.
The Washington Examiner noted that the new regulations will hit small businesses especially hard:
The IRS rule is key because companies with more than 50 full-time employees must provide health insurance under Obamacare, or be fined. Business groups have been warning that small companies might try to replace full-time workers with part-time help to avoid being forced to offer health insurance in 2014, but the 30-hour full-time definition is likely to undermine those plans.
Obamacare has already broken the budget on regulations, as the Orange County Register reported recently:
Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has validated the linchpin of the law – the requirement that all Americans have health insurance or pay a tax – a picture of Obamacare's full costs is coming into focus.
As reported July 3, Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., pointed out that the Health and Human Services Department "was given a billion dollars of implementation money. That money is gone already on additional bureaucrats and IT programs, computerization for the implementation. There's already 13,000 pages of regulations, and they're not even done yet."
The new regulations confirm former Speaker Nancy Pelosi's famous statement made just before President Obama's hallmark health care legislation became law. "We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it," she said.
18 months later, we've found out more of what's in it, and most businesses have decided they don't like it.