House Passes Bill Exempting Veterans From ACA Employer Mandate Employee Count
The first House bill on the floor of the newly sworn in Congress passed with overwhelming support on Tuesday. The bill, which would exempt veterans with health insurance through the federal government from the employer mandate provision of the Affordable Care Act, was passed with a vote of 412-0.
As it stands, the Affordable Care Act requires applicable large employers (those with 50 or more full-time or full-time equivalent employees) to offer health coverage that meets minimum essential coverage and value requirements. If this bill passes, veterans who have health care coverage through the US departments of Defense or Veterans Affairs would be exempt from this employee count.
Lawmakers from both major political parties say that this new legislation would serve as an incentive for businesses to hire veterans, many of whom face difficulties trying to find employment after serving overseas.
The House of Representatives passed a similar bill last year, but the legislation received no traction in the Senate. No date has been set for the Senate to vote on the measure.
This bill is the first of two measures the House is considering this week regarding health care reform. On Thursday, lawmakers are scheduled to vote on a bill that aims to change the definition of “full-time work” under the ACA from 30 hours per week to 40. This vote is likely to be more divisive, and the White House said Tuesday that President Obama would veto any bill that increases the amount of hours that qualify an employee as “full time" for health care coverage.