Why Aren’t PA Democrats Like Allyson Schwartz Protecting Firefighters from ObamaCare?
HARRISBURG — Republican Party of Pennsylvania Chairman Rob Gleason released the following statement regarding Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz’s continued refusal to protect volunteer firefighters and emergency responders from the employer mandate provision of ObamaCare.
“Because of Allyson Schwartz, thousands of Pennsylvania’s volunteer firefighters and emergency responders are spending their holidays worried about their health care,” Gleason said. “We already know that ObamaCare is a broken system that hurts working Pennsylvanians while raising health care costs. Now we’re learning that the employer mandate provision will expose our volunteer firefighters and emergency responders to the whims of the IRS.
“While Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz was all too excited to attach herself to ObamaCare, she has yet to show the same enthusiasm for a bill aimed at protecting our volunteer firefighters and emergency responders from the defective law. Why has Allyson Schwartz not joined with Pennsylvania Republicans as they work to exempt our volunteer firefighters and emergency responders from the employer mandate provision?
“Perhaps if Allyson Schwartz had read the bill before she passed it, Pennsylvanians wouldn’t be stuck cleaning up her mess,” Gleason said.
Republicans Standing Up for Volunteers Firefighters
H.R. 3685, also known as the Protecting Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Responders Act, will, “ensure that emergency services volunteers are not counted as full-time employees under the shared responsibility requirements,” of ObamaCare. (Protecting Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Responders Act of 2013, H.R. 3685, 113h Cong., 1st Sess. 2013).
Obamacare’s “One Size Fits All” Fails Volunteer Firefighters
Healthcare.gov explains the employer mandate as “if you have 50 or more full-time equivalent (FTE) employees, you may have to make this payment if at least 1 of your employees qualifies to save money on monthly premiums in the Marketplace.” U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, https://www.healthcare.gov/what-is-the-employer-shared-responsibility-payment/ (accessed December 17, 2013).
ObamaCare Has No Protection for First Responders
According to the IRS, “[g]enerally, tax laws apply to firefighters in the same manner as for other types of workers. It does not matter whether firefighters are termed ‘volunteers’, are considered employees, or are identified by any other name, if the work they do is subject to the will and control of the payer, under the common-law rules, they are employees for Federal tax purposes.” IRS, “Issues for Firefighters, 3 Sept 2013, http://www.irs.gov/Government-Entities/Federal,-State-&-Local-Governments/Issues-for-Firefighters (accessed December 17, 2013).