Congress Wants Obamacare Exemption To Help Boost Veteran Employment

Soldiers and veterans at Fort Jackson attend a job fair held by the Chamber of Commerce.

81st Regional Support Command by Sgt. 1st Class Joel Quebec

AA Font size + Print

Soldiers and veterans at Fort Jackson attend a job fair held by the Chamber of Commerce.

The Senate could hold a procedural vote this week on a House bill to change the employer mandate. By Sophie Novack

The Senate plans to take up legislation this week to tweak the Affordable Care Act’s much-delayed employer mandate for veterans.

The Hire More Heroes Act of 2014 would allow employers to leave veterans out of the 50-count threshold for the employer-mandate requirement, as long as the veterans already have health insurance. Their coverage must either be through TRICARE—the federal veterans’ health program—or through the Veterans Affairs Department.

The employer mandate requires businesses with more than 50 employees to provide their workers with health insurance or pay a penalty, which opponents argue could cause employers to cut hours or decline to hire more workers.

Supporters of the bill say it is intended to encourage employers to hire veterans by eliminating the desire to avoid hitting the mandate cutoff. They also say the current level of veteran unemployment is unacceptable.

The unemployment rate for all veterans was 6.6 percent in 2013, according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates. The unemployment rate for those who served on active duty after September 2001 was 9 percent. The overall U.S. unemployment rate in April was 6.3 percent.

The legislation was introduced by Republican Rep. Rodney Davis of Illinois, and it easily passed the House on a 406-1 vote in March.

The Senate version is sponsored by Missouri Republican Roy Blunt. It has 38 cosponsors, including two Democrats: Mark Udall of Colorado and Mark Pryor of Arkansas.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid filed a cloture motion on the motion to proceed Thursday, setting the bill up for a procedural vote this week.

The vote schedule will not be set until after the vote to end debate on the Shaheen-Portman education bill Monday evening, but the earliest the employer-mandate legislation could move would be a cloture vote on the motion to proceed Wednesday, according to a Senate Democratic aide.

The legislation is the vehicle for the tax-extenders bill, the aide said.

Close [ x ] More from DefenseOne
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from DefenseOne.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

    Download
  • Military Readiness: Ensuring Readiness with Analytic Insight

    To determine military readiness, decision makers in defense organizations must develop an understanding of complex inter-relationships among readiness variables. For example, how will an anticipated change in a readiness input really impact readiness at the unit level and, equally important, how will it impact readiness outside of the unit? Learn how to form a more sophisticated and accurate understanding of readiness and make decisions in a timely and cost-effective manner.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

    Download
  • Information Operations: Retaking the High Ground

    Today's threats are fluent in rapidly evolving areas of the Internet, especially social media. Learn how military organizations can secure an advantage in this developing arena.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.