H.R. 1744, the “American Job Protection Act,”
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
The Honorable Charles Boustany
The Honorable John Barrow
The Honorable Patrick Tiberi
Dear Representatives Boustany, Barrow, and Tiberi:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world’s largest business federation representing the
interests of more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region,
thanks you for introducing H.R. 1744, the “American Job Protection Act,” which would repeal the
job-destroying employer mandate included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
(PPACA). This requirement is having a negative effect on employment and is a linchpin of the
broader unworkable law. For this reason, the Chamber strongly supports this repeal legislation and
urges all members of the House to cosponsor it.
The health care law requires businesses with 50 or more full-time employees to offer certain
health benefits or pay steep penalties. Even businesses that do provide health benefits may still be
subjected to draconian fines. Repealing this “employer responsibility” provision would not only
protect existing jobs, but spur the creation of new jobs by removing the fear and uncertainty many
small businesses are experiencing in anticipation of the approaching coverage requirements that
begin in 2014. Businesses with fewer than 50 full-time equivalent employees are hesitant to grow
their businesses or hire what would amount to the fiftieth employee.
Prior to the enactment of PPACA, businesses voluntarily offered health insurance to most Americans; according to the Employee Benefits Research Institute, more than 156 million Americans had employer-sponsored health insurance in 2009. But now, the so-called “free rider” mandate requires businesses to provide prescribed coverage, an unprecedented intrusion on employers’ freedom to develop employee compensation packages. This requirement is not only unlikely to achieve the objective of forcing all employers to provide federally prescribed coverage, it is instead likely to have the opposite effect – incenting employers to drop coverage entirely and restrict job growth.
It is critical that this provision be removed in the near term so that employers can focus on
strengthening their businesses, hiring more workers, and revitalizing the economy.
The Chamber looks forward to working with you to enact this important legislation.
R. Bruce Josten
Cc: The Members of the U.S. House of Representatives