With the employer mandate of the Affordable Care Act delayed until 2015, many are expecting Congress and trade groups to try to use that extra year to chip away at the health care reform act, or at least alter it. But don’t count your chickens — with a Democrat-controlled Senate and White House, any changes to the Obama administration’s signature piece of domestic legislation face an uphill battle, and could need bipartisan support.

Alden Bianchi, practice group leader of Mintz Levin’s employee benefits and executive compensation practice, says “there’s a good deal of pressure being exerted on, in particular the Republicans in Congress by the business community” to raise the threshold for a worker’s mandated employer-sponsored health care from 30 hours a week to 40, which is what most businesses had previously considered “full-time” work. Bianchi says it’s a “question for the lobbyists and the professional politicians” as to whether such a push would succeed, and the House of Representatives is a difficult chamber in which to place bets.

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