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Employer Mandate Delay Does Not Alter Problems With Affordable Care Act

Regulations within the ACA are keeping small-business owners from creating new jobs.

On July 10, the U.S. House Ways & Means Health Subcommittee conducted a hearing to examine the one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate. Sean Falk, a multi-unit, multi-brand franchisee, testifying on behalf of the International Franchise Association, told Congress that while he applauds the delay in the employer mandate implementation, regulations within the act are keeping small-business owners from creating new jobs. Additional changes are still needed, he said.

In his opening remarks, Subcommittee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) expressed concern with the act’s employer mandate and the way the announcement was made by the administration. Brady also noted the consequences of the employer mandate for small businesses, saying that 3.2 million full-time jobs were at risk in the franchise industry alone.

Falk, an IFA member and multi-unit franchisee of Mrs. Fields Cookies, Great American Cookies, PretzelMaker and Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina, emphasized the concerns he and the franchise community have with the employer mandate. He applauded the administration for delaying its implementation, but made it clear that “it does not solve the fundamental problems associated with the ACA and its impact on business operations and future job growth.”

Falk testified that the mandate places a massive regulatory burden on his businesses and other franchise small businesses, stating that “navigating the constant changes, waivers, extensions, regulations and clarifications of an already cumbersome law have diverted my focus from developing my business and creating new jobs.” He also noted that two specific changes to the employer mandate would go a long way to help franchise small-business owners implement the law: increasing the 30-hour threshold that qualifies an employee as full-time to 40 hours a week; and increasing the 50 full-time equivalent employee threshold that requires employers to provide coverage to full-time employees.

Falk also appeared on CNBC to discuss how small-business owners are concerned about the delay of the employer mandate.

Many of the committee members commended Falk in his efforts to try and navigate the complexities of this law, including Reps. Tom Price (R-Ga.) and Mike Kelly (R-Pa.). Brady concluded the hearing by thanking the witnesses and announcing a second hearing on the same subject. On July 17, J. Mark Iwry, Treasury Dept. senior advisor to the secretary and deputy assistant secretary for retirement and public policy, testified during the subcommittee’s second hearing to examine the employer mandate delay.

Later that day, IFA hosted a members-only webinar to further address the challenges franchise-business owners face in implementing the employer mandate. The update included comments from; insurance industry veterans Andria Herr, president Orlando operations; and Holly Wahl, compliance and communications leader of IFA Supplier Member Hylant Group, an insurance brokerage with decades of franchise industry experience, provided insight on the types of plans available to large and small employers alike.

Jay Perron is the vice president of government relations & public policy for the International Franchise Association. Find him at via the directory.


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