NRF supports repeal of employer-mandated health care

Group says retailers support overall repeal of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

WASHINGTON — The National Retail Federation announced that it is endorsing legislation that would repeal the employer mandate provision of last year’s healthcare-reform law.

“The healthcare-reform law enacted last year will hurt far more than help from a small-business perspective,” NRF SVP government relations David French said in a letter to Rep. Charles Boustany, 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, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act 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 healthcare reform that the requirement would ultimately lead to job losses in the retail industry and said some retailers already have cut back hiring in anticipation of the mandate taking effect.

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.

“Additional healthcare 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.”

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

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