A West Central Illinois congressman has introduced legislation aimed at incentivizing small businesses to hire veterans while at the same time providing them relief from the Affordable Care Act.
A bill drafted by Rodney Davis was introduced two weeks after the House of Representatives approved a number of measures to assist veterans while improving accountability and efficiency at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The “Hire More Heroes Act”, according to Davis, exempts veterans who already receive health insurance through the Department of Veterans Affairs or reservists covered under TRICARE from being counted towards the number of employees required by the employer mandate under the Affordable Care Act.
The employer mandate is a requirement that all businesses with more than 50 full-time employees provide health insurance to their employees or pay a fee.
Currently, there are 8 million veterans receiving health care through the VA system, and every service member returning from Iraq and Afghanistan has the option of signing up for health care through the VA.
Davis cites a U.S. Chamber of Commerce study that indicates 71 percent of small businesses say the Affordable Care Act makes it harder for them to hire more employees.
The unemployment rate for veterans is at 6.9 percent, slightly lower than the national average, but veterans who have served since 9/11 are facing a much higher unemployment rate of 10 percent.