NRF Backs Bill to Repeal Health Care Employer Mandate

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The National Retail Federation today endorsed legislation that would repeal the employer mandate provision of last year’s health care reform law.

“The health care reform law enacted last year will hurt far more than help from a small business perspective,” NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French said in a letter to Representative Charles Boustany Jr., R-La., chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee’s Oversight Subcommittee. “Retailers support both the overall repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act … and specific changes to the law in the interim.”

Beginning in 2014, PPACA will require companies with 50 or more full-time workers to provide full-time workers with health insurance at government-mandated levels or pay penalties if they fail to do so. French noted that NRF argued during the debate over health care reform that the requirement would ultimately lead to job losses in the retail industry, and said some retailers have already cut back hiring in anticipation of the mandate taking effect.

“Additional health care costs cannot be absorbed given thin profit margins,” French said. “Fewer hires and fewer hours for retained employees is the likely outcome. Our members are already reporting fewer hires, franchises and other retail store openings as a consequence.”

Boustany last week introduced H.R. 1744, the American Job Protection Act, which would use an amendment to the tax code to repeal the employer mandate.

NRF today also endorsed H.R. 5, the Help Efficient, Accessible, Low-Cost, Timely Healthcare Act, or HEALTH Act, a medical malpractice reform bill introduced by Representative Phil Gingrey, R-Ga.

“Proponents of our present civil justice system argue that the threat of litigation helps guard against professional malfeasance and malpractice,” French wrote in a letter to Gingrey. “We believe the better focus is on public disclosure and consumer awareness of the merits of different physicians. If medical professionals know that intelligent health care consumers can and will go elsewhere for their care, then they will adjust the quality of the care they deliver accordingly.”

As the world's largest retail trade association and the voice of retail worldwide, NRF's global membership includes retailers of all sizes, formats and channels of distribution as well as chain restaurants and industry partners from the United States and more than 45 countries abroad. In the United States, NRF represents the breadth and diversity of an industry with more than 1.6 million American companies that employ nearly 25 million workers and generated 2010 sales of $2.4 trillion.


National Retail Federation
J. Craig Shearman, 202-626-8134
[email protected]

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