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Congress, White House, Supreme Court Weigh In on Health Care Reform

American Staffing Association (01/05/12) Malara, Toby

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act remained a dominant issue in Washington, DC, in 2011. The U.S. Department of the Treasury issued a request in the summer for public input on issues relating to employer health coverage and tax penalties. The Employers for Flexibility in Health Care—of which ASA is a founding member—submitted general comments on behalf of its members, and individual coalition members—including ASA—submitted comments on behalf of their industries.

In October the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform’s subcommittee on Health Care, the District of Columbia, the Census, and the National Archives held a hearing to examine the effect of health care reform on the staffing industry. Among those testifying on behalf of the staffing industry was Edward A. Lenz, Esq., ASA senior vice president, legal and public affairs

ASA and other coalition members have made intensive efforts over the past year and a half to educate the Obama administration about the unique concerns of temporary and variable-hour workers. ASA and its coalition partners continue to work with the administration on regulations to require that employees work full-time for up to a year before being considered full-time for purposes of the employer tax penalties. Proposed regulations are expected some time this year. Discussions with the administration provide a basis for cautious optimism.

As expected, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to consider key constitutional and procedural issues regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The court’s decision could have a major impact on the future of the law, including the employer tax penalties.