As predicted, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) has been at the forefront for the first few weeks of the 114th Congress.
On Jan. 6, 2015, the House unanimously passed the Hire More Heroes Act, which exempts veterans from classification as eligible employees under the employer mandate of the ACA. On Feb. 3, 2015, Congress voted in favor of repealing the ACA for the 56th time, and two days later, Republican leaders unveiled a replacement bill to the ACA, called The Patient Choice, Affordability, Responsibility, and Empowerment (“CARE”). This legislation, introduced by Senate Finance Chairman Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), and House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich), would eliminate the employer and individual mandates under the ACA, provide a refundable tax credit to certain individuals to purchase private health care coverage of their choice, and use a different formula to calculate the tax break for employer-sponsored health coverage, among other things.
Despite this activity, employers should not count on a repeal of the ACA and instead continue their compliance efforts. Even if changes in the law eventually come about, the impact on the rules and regulations would not be immediate. In the meantime, it’s important for employers to carry on with compliance as the rule and regulations are currently drafted.
PLDO will be monitoring this issue and keeping our clients up to date on potential changes to the ACA. If you have questions about these new bills or the ACA, please call Attorney Jillian Jagling at 401-824-5100 or email [email protected]. We welcome your comments, questions and suggestions.