ABC on March 28 submitted a letter as part of a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee hearing on the “Individual and Employer Mandates in the Democrats’ Health Care Law,” and offered support for the American Job Protection Act (H.R. 1744), which would repeal the employer mandate.
Under the employer mandate contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), employers with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees must offer a certain level of health coverage or pay penalties. The mandate is scheduled to go into effect in the beginning of 2014.
ABC pointed out in the letter that if employers are forced to offer government-prescribed health insurance, ABC members will no longer have the choice or flexibility to structure health care coverage options that meet the needs of their fluctuating workforce. A one-size-fits-all plan will increase costs and jeopardize the ability of companies to maintain affordable coverage options for their employees and to hire and retain workers. ABC cited a projection by the director of the Congressional Budget Office that PPACA will reduce employment by 0.5 percent by 2012, which correlates to a reduction of 800,000 workers.
In the letter, ABC also expressed concerns about the complex, confusing and unclear regulations implementing the employer mandate. ABC noted that they create an environment of uncertainty in the industry that makes it difficult for firms to adequately plan for the future and ultimately stifle job creation.
“Repealing the employer mandate provision will not only protect existing jobs, but will help remove some of the uncertainty facing employers today,” the letter stated.