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National Restaurant Association - Restaurateurs keep up the fight on health care

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Restaurateurs keep up the fight on health care

Debate over spending, the federal budget and the debt ceiling have dominated Congress for the past few weeks and aren’t likely to end anytime soon. But that doesn’t mean the industry has stopped its fight for reasonable changes to the health care law.

Since the health care law was passed, dozens of restaurant operators have taken the time to share stories in the media of how the law impacts their business. Recently, Firehouse Subs CEO Don Fox appeared on Bloomberg TV to discuss the costs of the health care law to businesses.

“The impact of [the health care law] is going to vary with every restaurant company and brand,” Fox said. “Every time the government, or any outside force, imposes additional costs on the business and deflects profits, it slows down growth. That’s inarguable. It’s all a matter of degree.”

The Hill, a daily political newspaper, recently published an op-ed by NRA Treasurer and Ground Round CEO Jack Crawford, titled “Obamacare’s Acute Affliction on Restaurant Industry.” In it, Crawford explained the need for three key changes to the law: changing the law’s definition of a full-time work week to a length more in line with business practices, simplification of the formula used to determine whether an employer has 50 or more full-time employees, and elimination of the auto-enroll provision, which requires companies with 200 or more full-time employees to automatically enroll those employees in the company’s lowest-cost health plan on the 91st day of employment unless the employee has specifically opted out of coverage or enrolled in another plan.

“Without changes, the Affordable Care Act will hurt economic growth and make flexible work schedules for employees more limiting to offer,” Crawford wrote.

Legislation to change the health care law’s definition of a full-time work week from 30 hours to 40 hours is still alive in both the House and Senate. The Save American Workers Act (H.R. 2575), introduced by Rep. Todd Young (R-Ind.), has the support of 155 co-sponsors in the House. A similar bill, the “Forty Hours is Full Time” Act (S. 1188, H.R. 2988), was introduced by Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) in the House and by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) in the Senate. The bill has seven co-sponsors in the House and 10 in the Senate.

The National Restaurant Association encourages operators to share their stories of how they are being impacted by the health care law through op-eds and letters to the editor. Visit www.AmericaWorksHere.org/healthcare for information on how you can get involved as an advocate for reasonable changes to the health care law.

Click here to get the NRA’s Health Care Law Toolkit, the premier industry source for information on the Affordable Care Act.

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