Local News

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis of Taylorville has  introduced legislation to incentivize small businesses to hire veterans while at the same time providing them relief from the Affordable Care Act. The bill was introduced two weeks after the House approved a number of measures to assist veterans while improving accountability and efficiency at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The Hire More Heroes Act incentivizes small businesses to hire veterans by exempting veterans who already receive health insurance through the Department of Veterans Affairs or reservists covered under TRICARE from being counted towards the number of employees required by the employer mandate under the Affordable Care Act. The employer mandate is a requirement that all businesses with more than 50 full-time employees provide health insurance to their employees or pay a fee.

Currently, there are 8 million veterans receiving health care through the VA system, and every service member returning from Iraq and Afghanistan has the option of signing up for health care through the VA.

Davis says a survey done by the U.S. Chamber found that 71 percent of small businesses say Obamacare makes it harder for them to hire more employees.

Although national unemployment rates continue to decrease, unemployment among veterans continues to rise, with the current rate at 6.9 percent, just slightly lower than the national average. However, veterans who have served since 9/11 are facing a much higher unemployment rate of 10 percent.

 
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