HARRISBURG — Republican Party of Pennsylvania Communications Director Megan Sweeney was pleasantly surprised to hear that Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz flip-flopped on her support for ObamaCare by signing onto H.R. 3685. Also known as the Protecting Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Responders Act, the bill “ensur[es] 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). The flip-flop follows repeated questions from the PA GOP about her lack of support for the bill on Twitter.
“After further calls this morning from the PA GOP, Allyson Schwartz was forced to admit just how harmful ObamaCare is for our volunteer firefighters and emergency responders,” Sweeney said. “By signing onto Representative Lou Barletta’s anti-ObamaCare bill, Allyson Schwartz has now admitted that ObamaCare is defective. Of course, our volunteer firefighters and emergency responders wouldn’t be spending the holidays worried about their health care if Allyson Schwartz didn’t vote for ObamaCare in the first place.
“Pennsylvanians still have questions regarding Congresswoman Schwartz’s decision to support ObamaCare. Did she even stop to consider how her vote would hurt Pennsylvania’s volunteer firefighters and emergency responders, or did she just blindly pass the bill as part of her extreme liberal agenda? Is she prepared to admit that her support for ObamaCare was itself a mistake?
“If she had read the bill before she passed it, maybe she would have learned just damaging ObamaCare is to Pennsylvanians.”
Schwartz Follows the PA GOP’s Lead — Round One
After receiving criticism from the PA GOP, Congresswoman Schwartz announced that she was writing a letter to the IRS to discuss the “unnecessary and potentially harmful health insurance burden” of ObamaCare on volunteer firefighters and emergency responders.
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).
Obama’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).