According to the National Retail Federation, which represents an industry with more than 24 million employees – about one in five American workers – the House Democrats’ health care bill poses a serious threat to employer sponsored insurance and job creation. While voicing continued support for health care reform, the NRF detailed its concern about the House Democrats’ government-takeover of health care in a letter to the Ways and Means Committee. The letter echoes concerns expressed by the National Federation of Independent Business, which represents 350,000 small businesses across the country. Some of NRF’s concerns about a government-run plan, employer mandates and taxes on employers are listed below. To view NRF’s full letter, click here.
Drives up cost of insurance premiums: “Retailers oppose the public plan option because of its potential for cost shifting (similar to what we experience today through Medicare and Medicaid; our concern is heightened in this case by the direct link to Medicare rates) and for its potential to crowd out private insurance plan alternatives.”
- Threatens employer-provided coverage: “NRF cannot support the limited five-year grandfathering of existing group health plans under ERISA because of its potential to greatly increase employer coverage costs at the end of five years. Flexibility under ERISA remains crucial to the majority of employer-sponsored coverage.”
- Mandates put jobs at risk: “Employer mandates of any kind amount to a tax on jobs. We can think of few more dangerous steps to take in the middle of our present recession.”
Unaffordable for employers: “We cannot afford any new labor cost, particularly the eight percent of payroll penalty or the 72.5 percent contribution floor for individual coverage or 65 percent contribution floor for family coverage proposed in the Tri-Committee bill.”
- New taxes harms small employers: “A surcharge on wealthy individuals, for example – would adversely affect small employers, including retailers.”