A few hundred franchise restaurant owners swept Capitol Hill on Monday to lobby congressmen to redefine the meaning of “McJob,” arguing that full-time status requiring health care benefits should be raised from 30 hours per week to 40.

The requirement under the Affordable Care Act of 2010 that large employers provide health insurance to “full-time” workers employed for 30 or more hours per week would eviscerate narrow profit margins and result in lost hours for employees.

“Employees won’t have the hours they need, and they won’t get employer-sponsored healthcare, either,” Steve Caldeira, president and CEO of the International Franchise Association (IFA), told The Hill. “[Franchisees] are dealing with high commodity costs, high energy prices, higher taxes from the ‘fiscal-cliff’ deal, and now they are trying to work through Obamacare."

Owners of McDonald’s, Dunkin Donuts, and Mr. Rooter franchise stores visited congressional offices to ask lawmakers “to give employers and employees relief from burdensome employer regulations.” The trade organization supports pending legislation including the Save American Workers Act, sponsored by Rep. Todd Young, a republican from Indiana, and the Forty Hours Is Full Time Act, sponsored by Rep. Daniel Lipinski, a democrat from Illinois, and a few others in the Senate.

The new federal health care law requires employers with 50 workers or more to provide health insurance to workers logging 30 or more hours per week — or pay financial penalties to the government. Although the mandate was initially set to begin next year, the White House postponed implementation by a year, giving employers more time to prepare.

“This is about taking part-time workers who were at 32 hours, 34 hours per week and limiting their work,” Scott DeFife, executive vice president for policy and government affairs at the National Restaurant Association, told reporters. “You still have to cover the shifts,” DeFife said, predicting that business owners would limit employee hours in favor of hiring other part-timers. However, “there’s an additional cost for each worker you bring on,” he added, meaning that owners would get squeezed either way, only less so by limiting worker hours.

Also supporting a redefinition of a full-time worker for the purpose of health insurance are the Retail Leaders Industry Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Yet, International Franchise Association members say they’re not supporting the movement to defund Obamacare, but merely wish to tweak the law to allow for greater flexibility in hiring part-time help. “We didn’t support the bill, but the bill became law,” Caldeira told reporters. “So our job now is to mitigate the most costly, burdensome and onerous aspects of the law for our members.”

Kevin Maher, senior vice president of governmental affairs for the American Hotel & Lodging Association, likewise attempted a bipartisan appeal to congressmen. “We want to let democrats know that we don’t want to repeal ObamaCare,” he said on Monday. “We want to let republicans know that this is the law, and we need to make it workable for business.”

The trade groups say they believe the year-long postponement of the law’s provision should give them enough time to lobby for change.