New Health Care Bill Would Provide Relief for Restaurant Operators

Restaurants with 50 or more fulltime employees would no longer have to provide insurance to those workers.




Larger restaurants could be freed from Obamacare’s employer insurance mandate if the American Health Care Act passes into law.

 

Under the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the Republicans’ answer to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), employers with 50 or more fulltime workers would no longer be required to offer health insurance to their employees, providing relief to many restaurant operators.

The ACA, known to many as Obamacare, defined fulltime as working 30 hours per week or 130 hours per month. The restaurant industry has opposed this definition, and many said they would have to cut employees’ hours or raise their prices to cover the expense of offering health insurance to their workers.

Under the leadership of President Trump, the AHCA bill was only recently unveiled and has already met with opposition from Democrats as well as some within the Republican party. Several Republicans in the Senate have said it will leave too many Americans uninsured, while others say it doesn’t go far enough in moving health care back toward a free-market system.

Negotiations on the bill seem likely, and it may change considerably in the coming weeks or months. But the elimination of the insurance mandate for employers and other business-friendly parts of the legislation should remain intact, at least one expert predict.

“I think a lot of the employer-related changes—the commercial insurance ones—will probably make it through in some form or iteration,” Amy Gordon of the law firm McDermott Will & Emery told Nation’s Restaurant News. “I can’t imagine them all being scrapped. I can foresee maybe a little bit of tweaking, but not so much that we don’t recognize them as they are today.”

 

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