WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Rep. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson, PA-5, has voted to support H.R. 3474, the Hire More Heroes Act, bipartisan legislation that will incentivize small businesses to hire veterans by adjusting requirements under the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Employer Shared Responsibility provision, commonly known as the employer mandate. The bill passed the House by a vote of 406 to 1.
“For a prolonged period of time unemployment and underemployment have remained at historically high levels, especially for our younger veteran population,” stated Thompson. “The Hire More Heroes Act is a creative policy change that will help grow our economy, lessen the regulatory burden on local employers, and boost hiring for the men and women that have bravely served our country in uniform.”
The ACA’s employer mandate requires that all businesses with more than 50 full-time employees provide health insurance to their employees or pay a fee. H.R. 3474 exempts veterans who already receive health insurance through the Veterans Affairs Department or reservists covered under Tricare from being counted toward the number of employees that triggers the employer mandate.
There are currently 8 million veterans receiving health care through the Veterans Affairs Department (VA) system, while hundreds of thousands of reservists receive health care through the military’s health care system (Tricare). Many of these individuals work for private employers.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment among veterans is at 6.3 percent, slightly lower than the national average. However, veterans who have served since 9/11 are facing a much higher unemployment rate of 9.2 percent.