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Last Week

The House and Senate both passed clean debt-ceiling increases, without tying in any additional legislative provisions. In addition, both houses passed legislation reversing cuts to veteran's pensions, if signed into law, the $6 million price tag would be offset by extending the existing cuts to Medicare resulting from the Sequestration agreement.

Also last week, the White House eased the requirement that businesses with over 50 employees provide health insurance to full-time workers (at least 30 hours per week) or face a penalty, which has already been delayed a year.

Specifically, the regulations state:
  1. Businesses with 50-99 full-time workers will not be subject to the mandate until 2016.
  2. Those with more than 100 full-time workers must offer coverage to 70 percent of their full-time employees this year, and 95 percent after that.
  3. Volunteers are not counted as full-time employees.
  4. Read the Treasury Department fact sheet and the full regulations.
  5. In 2013, 99 percent of firms with 200+ employees offered health benefits; 91 percent of firms with 50-199 employees did, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
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