WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The National Retail Federation today welcomed legislation signed by President Obama that repeals an Affordable Care Act provision that would have driven up health care costs for businesses with between 50 and 100 employees by forcing them into small group insurance plans.
“This bipartisan legislation is constructive reform,” NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French said. “We hope that this is the first of many such changes to Obamacare to improve the law and make it easier for retailers to comply.”
“Restoring state control of small-market health insurance rules will protect affected employers from much higher premium costs and more burdensome mandates,” French said. “Companies in this size range might not be large, but they shouldn’t be branded ‘small’ if it’s going to cost them money.”
“We hope that the PACE Act will help open the legislative gates to additional ACA fixes such as restoring the 40-hour workweek, repealing the ‘Cadillac Tax’ and correcting the law’s dysfunctional reporting requirements,” French said.
Obama on Wednesday signed H.R. 1624, the Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees Act, which passed the House on September 28 and the Senate on October 1. Unlike many Republican-led bills to change the health care law attempted in the past, the PACE Act had strong bipartisan sponsorship in both chambers.
At issue is an ACA provision that would have required each state to define the small-group health insurance market at 100 or fewer employees beginning in January, up from 50 employees in most states. The PACE Act leaves the definition of “small group” with the states, protecting employers with between 50 and 100 workers from the higher premiums and additional mandates seen in the small-group market.
NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s This is Retail campaign highlights the industry’s opportunities for life-long careers, how retailers strengthen communities, and the critical role that retail plays in driving innovation. NRF.com