Industry associations address health care reform

NRA and IFA praise lawmakers seeking to repeal employer mandate provision in federal health care law

The National Restaurant Association and the International Franchise Association renewed their support this week for lawmakers in Washington, D.C., who are seeking to repeal the employer mandate provision in the new federal health care law.

The mandate requires that businesses with more than 50 full-time-equivalent employees offer full-time workers affordable healthcare coverage by 2014 or pay a penalty of $2,000 per employee.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, introduced The American Job Protection Act, or S. 20, in an effort to repeal the employer mandate in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

An equivalent measure, H.R. 1744, was introduced into the House earlier by Reps. Charles Boustany, R-La., Pat Tiberi, R-Ohio, and John Barrow, D-Ga.

“We are an industry with a high percentage of young, mobile, part-time workers, as well as an industry comprised mostly of small businesses,” Scott DeFife, Executive Vice President of Policy and Government Affairs for the National Restaurant Association said in a statement. “These businesses will be negatively impacted, and jobs lost, if the employer mandate is not repealed or changed.

“Because of the make-up of the workforce, the industry has unique challenges in finding health care solutions that are affordable for workers and employers alike,” he said. “We are working to address those issues, but are equally concerned about the ability to navigate the high costs, regulatory complexity and unanswered questions surrounding the new health care law.”

“Repeal of this job-killing provision is essential if small business job creators are to drive the growth of a stagnant economy and put millions of unemployed Americans back to work,” said IFA president and chief executive Steve Caldeira in a statement.

A study by the Hudson Institute for the IFA said 3.2 million full-time employees working at thousands of franchised businesses will be at risk of losing their jobs unless significant changes are made to the health care law.

President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law in March 2010.

Contact Paul Frumkin at [email protected] [3].