National Retail Federation Vice President and Employee Benefits Policy Counsel Neil Trautwein testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the impact of the Affordable Care Act, where he reiterated the retail industry’s strong support for modifying the health care law’s employer mandate and 30-hour requirement for coverage.
“Many retail and restaurant employees do not fit neatly into full-and part-time categories and compliance with the unprecedented levels of change under the ACA will be particularly challenging,” Trautwein testified.
The health care law is especially burdensome for small employers who cannot afford the sophisticated and expensive strategies needed to fully-comply with the law’s multitude of mandates, requirements and penalties.
“The law that reforms health care coverage should not advantage larger employers to the detriment of smaller ones,” Trautwein said.
Although NRF opposed the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, it has worked closely with Congress, the Administration, and its diverse membership of retailers and chain restaurants to make the law more workable for employers and employees.
“Given the complexity of requirements under the ACA, we strongly urge this Committee and Congress to consider specific changes to the ACA, including the definition of full-time employment,” Trautwein said. “NRF stands ready to help the Administration and Congress make the ACA more workable, so long as it remains the law of this land.”
NRF supports specific, common-sense reforms to the health care law, including bipartisan legislation aimed at repealing the employer mandate, changing the law’s definition of a full-time employee to 40-hours a week and increasing the coverage requirement from 50 employees to 100.
NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.5 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.