The National Restaurant Association applauded Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Congressmen Charles Boustany (R-La.), Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio), and John Barrow (D-Ga.) for standing up for America’s restaurants, specifically for leading the fight to repeal the new health care law’s employer mandate provision. The members of Congress are chief sponsors of legislation to repeal the harmful mandate and held a press conference on Capitol Hill to highlight its negative impact on small businesses, such as restaurants.
“As the second-largest private-sector employer, America’s restaurants provide 13 million jobs nationwide. We are an industry with a high percentage of young, mobile, part-time workers, as well as an industry comprised mostly of small businesses. These businesses will be negatively impacted, and jobs lost, if the employer mandate is not repealed or changed,” says Scott DeFife, executive vice president of policy and government affairs for the National Restaurant Association. “The National Restaurant Association appreciates the leadership of Senator Hatch and Congressmen Boustany, Tiberi, and Barrow for standing up for restaurant industry jobs.”
Hatch is the sponsor of S. 20, The American Job Protection Act, which would repeal the new health care law's requirement that employers with more than 50 full-time-equivalent employees offer full-time employees affordable health benefits by 2014 or pay stiff penalties. Boustany, Tiberi, and Barrow have introduced similar legislation, H.R. 1744.
“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,” DeFife says. “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. Businesses are reexamining growth and hiring decisions in light of the new law’s risks.
“Because of the law’s impact on the restaurant industry, the National Restaurant Association has worked to provide constructive input as the regulations are shaped. But there are limits to the scope of change that can be achieved through regulation, and we believe significant legislative changes must be made—including eliminating the employer mandate and its associated triggers and penalties.”
Earlier this year, the National Restaurant Association sent a letter to Hatch, urging him to reintroduce The American Job Protection Act to repeal the employer mandate. The Association also sent a letter to Boustany, Tiberi, and Barrow to commend them for introducing their legislation. In addition, as part of the Small Business Coalition for Affordable Healthcare, the Association called on all House members to support repeal of the employer mandate.