By Debbie Gregory.
Last month, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3474, the Hire More Heroes Act of 2014. The bill passed in the House without amendment by an astounding margin of 406 to 1. The bill had 37 co-sponsors in the House, and as it moved to the Senate, it had 36 co-sponsors, and is reportedly gaining support.
The Hire More Heroes Act of 2014, currently Senate bill S.2190, was introduced by Senator Roy Blunt from Missouri. If passed, the bill would lessen the financial burden on employers who hire Veterans or Reservists, due to the fact that they would already have healthcare through either the military’s Tricare network, or through the VA’s healthcare system.
Currently, under the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare, employers who hire 50 or more full-time employees are required to provide their employees with health insurance, or pay a $2,000 fine for every employee, over the 30 employee mark. This stipulation makes it extremely difficult for any small business to medium sized business to expand, as it provides no incentive to do so.
The Hire More Heroes Act provides a “two birds with one stone” solution, allowing businesses to side-step around that portion of the Affordable Care Act, while providing incentives to employers for hiring Veterans. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the Veteran unemployment rate for March was at 6%, with Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan at a 6.9% unemployment rate. Previously, Veteran unemployment rates were closer to 7%, with recent Veterans maintaining a consistently high 9% or greater over several years.
Senate Bill S.2190, the Hire More Heroes Act, is supported by the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States (EANGUS), a congressionally-chartered Veterans’ service organization, which is also the largest association in the nation of enlisted retirees and Veterans from all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.
If passed, the Hire More Heroes Act would apply to any months after December 31, 2013. Service members, Veterans, military family members, entrepreneurs, business owners and military/Veteran advocates are encouraged to urge their senators to approve the Hire More Heroes Act of 2014, S.2190.
For this, or any legislative concerns, you can find your senator’s contact information at http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm