New evidence has surfaced that some companies are cutting back workers' hours to avoid offering them health coverage as required under terms of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The latest data to support this trend comes from a study released by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the International Franchise Association. The survey focused on 400 small businesses with 40 to 500 workers.

The survey found "nearly a third of franchise businesses have cut workers' hours because of the requirement that companies with 50 or more full-time workers offer health insurance or pay a fine. … Additionally, 12 percent of non-franchise businesses said they have reduced their workers' hours because of the law."

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.