America's promise holds that no matter where you begin on the economic ladder, you have the opportunity to move up through hard work and determination.
For many who are struggling, jobs like retail worker, adjunct professor and substitute teacher provide stability and steady income. Unfortunately, the Affordable Care Act threatens the people it was advertised to help the most.
Under the law, the 40-hour traditional workweek was redefined to 30 hours for purposes of the employer mandate. Employers who want to provide jobs and good hours to their employees are thus forced into a difficult position. In order to mitigate the increased costs and taxes under the 30-hour rule, they must cut hours or eliminate jobs entirely.
Some 2.6 million workers are at risk, according to the Hoover Institution, and their median household income is near $29,000. The difference between 39 and 29 hours can add up to an entire week's worth of wages over a month -- a massive burden on struggling Americans. Of those, 59 percent are ages 18-34 and 63 percent are women, including single mothers. This hurts most those who earn the least.
That's why I supported the passage of HR 2575, the Save American Workers Act, a bill I co-sponsored that restores the traditional 40-hour workweek. The Congressional Budget Office reports that repealing the 30-hour rule would lower taxes on employers by $63 billion and create $75 billion in higher cash wages for workers.
Although they have refused to replace the ACA with real health reform that lowers costs and improves patient choice, I urge the Senate and the president to make bill a law quickly to save the hours and wages of Illinois' workers.
Let's reverse the ACA's unintended consequences that have caused collateral damage to vulnerable families and individuals in Illinois.
Rep. Randy Hultgren
14th Congressional District