WASHINGTON, 2015-2-3 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation expressed its strong support for legislation aimed at repealing the Affordable Care Act in a letter today sent to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. NRF will consider votes on H.R. 596 and all related amendments and motions in its annual voting scorecard. The House is expected to take up the legislation later today.
“Dealing with the ACA’s employer mandate and reporting requirements have already brought unwanted cost and complexity to retail employers, despite the serial delays,” NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French said. “Moreover, the numerous unintended consequences of the law have slowed the creation of new retail jobs and limited the hours available to part-time employees.”
NRF opposed the enactment of the health care law on the grounds that it focused more on government mandates and regulations rather than affordability and accessibility. Even though it opposed the law, NRF has worked to address the most egregious aspects of the law in an effort to reduce its negative impact on employers and employees. In particular, NRF has sought the repeal of the employer mandate provision and its reporting requirements, and has supported bipartisan efforts aimed at restoring the traditional 40-hour workweek.
“NRF has and will continue to work in good faith with congress and the administration to fix and improve the law wherever possible,” French said. “Yet even the most basic of changes – such as changing the definition of a full-time employee – still draw unfounded partisan opposition and veto threats. Improving and fixing the ACA remains challenging at best, and finding real relief from the law’s burdens is elusive. We believe the best course of action would be to repeal the ACA in its entirety and begin a truly bipartisan discussion and debate on the future of our health care system.”
Decisions made every day in Washington have a profound impact on retailers’ ability to do business and serve their customers. But it’s bigger than just retail. These issues are vital to the overall economic competitiveness and growth of the United States, making congressional attention even more critical. Retailers will be measuring congressional support for key issues through NRF’s Retail Opportunity Index – keeping tabs on policies that contribute to a vibrant, healthy retail industry and U.S. economy.
NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s This is Retail campaign highlights the industry’s opportunities for life-long careers, how retailers strengthen communities, and the critical role that retail plays in driving innovation. nrf.com
Stephen E. Schatz