Bill Would Adjust Employer Mandate, Help Veterans

Now that Republicans are in control of Congress and have returned to Washington after the holidays, members are looking for ways to chip away at President Barack Obama's health care reform law or to find ways to improve it so they can demonstrate that the GOP can lead.

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Now that Republicans are in control of Congress and have returned to Washington after the holidays, members are looking for ways to chip away at President Barack Obama’s health care reform law or to find ways to improve it so they can demonstrate that the GOP can lead.

One adjustment comes from the Hire More Heroes Act, which addresses the portion of the Affordable Care Act that requires companies with 50 or more full-time workers to provide health insurance for their workers. Commonly called the “employer mandate,” the penalty for not adhering to the law is $2,000 per employee, and takes effect this year.

Republicans have argued that this portion of Obamacare causes small businesses to face higher costs and to hold off on hiring.

The Hire More Heroes Act would exempt from the employee count post-9/11 veterans, who already receive health coverage through the defense department or the department of Veterans Affairs and therefore would not require it from their employer.

“It makes a common-sense change to the president’s health care law that will encourage small businesses to hire more of our nation’s veterans,” Illinois Rep. Rodney Davis said in his weekly Republican address Saturday.

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