The House of Representatives passed the first piece of legislation of the 114th Congress on Wednesday, the Hire More Heroes Act of 2015 (H.R. 22), with overwhelming bipartisan support.
The bill would help veterans find work by exempting them from one of the Affordable Care Act’s mandates on small businesses. Starting Jan. 1, 2015, employers that go over the threshold of 50 full-time employees that do not offer health insurance to their full-time employees and dependents, or that offer coverage that is not affordable or that does not provide minimum value, may be required to pay an assessment if at least one of their full-time employees received a premium tax credit to purchase coverage in the new individual Marketplace.
“Mr. Speaker, only a law as bad as Obamacare would penalize a small business for hiring a veteran,” said Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., in a statement. “Right now, the law says ‘If you have at least 50 full-time employees, you must give all of them health insurance – even if they’re already getting health insurance.’ In fact, over 9 million veterans are already getting health care through the Department of Veterans Affairs. But they’re not exempt. Every employer has to cover them anyway. So what’s happening? Businesses have an incentive to turn away veterans—not because they don’t want to hire them, but because Obamacare makes it too expensive to hire them.”