On Wednesday, leaders from the National Restaurant Association and restaurateurs met with U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price to discuss issues faced by restaurant operators under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The meeting was held as part of the 31st annual two-day Public Affairs Conference that convened over 600 restaurateurs and foodservice operators in Washington, D.C.
“As the nation’s second-largest private-sector, restaurants employ over 14.7 million people. The burdensome paperwork and costs from the employer mandate are affecting all aspects of our industry. Today’s meeting with Secretary Price was a positive step in addressing these industry priorities for health care reform. We thank the Secretary for his interest in learning more about how these issues impact our industry,” says Cicely Simpson, executive vice president of policy & government, National Restaurant Association
In the meeting, the restaurant operators explained that the biggest problems with the ACA are employer mandate rules that are putting employers through a constant cycle of paperwork, costs and confusion. The National Restaurant Association supports moving forward with health care reform to address needed employer-mandate reforms. The ACA’s definition of full-time employment at 30 hours a week is forcing restaurants to change how they hire and staff their operations, a consequence no one intended. The mandate’s definitions of seasonal employment are confusing and employers face daunting paperwork rules with new requirements to track and report voluminous data to the IRS each year.