Restaurant industry continues to push for ACA changes

Restaurant industry continues to push for ACA changes

Friday’s Supreme Court decision upholding a major element of the Affordable Care Act ensures that the ACA remains the law of the land — but it doesn’t take away from the need for Congress to make reasonable, common-sense changes to the law, the National Restaurant Association said.

By a 6-3 vote, the court ruled that the federal government could continue to pay income-based subsidies to help individuals buy health plans through federally run exchanges. The federal government operates or helps run exchanges in 33 states.

If the court had declared the subsidies illegal, that would have thrown other parts of the law into confusion, including the ACA’s employer penalties. Penalties get triggered when a full-time employee of a “large employer” receives a federal subsidy because they didn’t get an offer of affordable, minimum-value coverage through their employer.

The NRA remains concerned that ACA issues affecting restaurants and the employer community at large have yet to move forward in Congress.

“Certain provisions within the ACA have placed an enormous amount of undue burden on American businesses large and small,” NRA President and CEO Dawn Sweeney said in a statement.

The NRA’s top priorities for change include the problematic definition of full-time employment at 30 hours, the lack of clarity on employer-reporting requirements, the auto-enrollment mandate affecting employers of 200 or more, inconsistent definitions of seasonal employment under the law, and the confusing process of determining which businesses are considered large under the ACA.

“We have worked tirelessly with Congress on behalf of our membership to find bipartisan solutions to these very real problems and will continue to do so as the discussion on health care continues,” Sweeney said.