Murkowski Co-Sponsors Effort to Hire Veterans, Help Alaskan Businesses Deal With Employer Mandate

Senator: Bill is Common-Sense Step to Serve Those Who Stood Watch, Help Businesses Cope with Costly Regulation

WASHINGTON, D.C. –Senator Lisa Murkowski is co-sponsoring S.2190, The Hire More Heroes Act – a bill incentivizing companies to hire more American veterans by exempting those employees with health coverage through TRICARE or the VA from being counted as part of the 50 employee requirement under the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate.

“This legislation is a positive step forward in assuring that onerous burdens are not placed on employers to provide health care coverage for those who already have access to it through TRICARE or the VA,” said Murkowski.  “Encouraging small businesses to hire our nation’s veterans a way we can help both those who serve and those willing to hire more employees. This bill is an incentive to employ great people that eases some of the burden our businesses are feeling.”

As Alaskan and American businesses consider filling job vacancies, many business owners are wary of hiring workers that will trigger the employer mandate.  S.2190 allows employees to stay under the 50 employee threshold if they hire veterans who are already covered through TRICARE or the VA, particularly of value in Alaska, which at 77,000 has the highest concentration (17 percent) of veterans in the nation.

BACKGROUND: On August 15th, 2012 Senator Murkowski convened a public roundtable called “The Alaskan Bottom Line of Health Care Reform” in Anchorage to give a voice to business owners and medical professionals wary of the Affordable Care Act’s higher costs and regulatory burdens.  Last May, Murkowski co-sponsored S.700 The Troop Talent Act of 2013 to create more avenues to employment for men and women who have served America in the Armed Forces.  The Hire More Heroes Act addresses two key concerns of Alaskans through a single piece of bipartisan legislation, legislation that has already overwhelmingly passed the U.S. House of Representatives 406-1.