WASHINGTON, DC -- Congressman Mike Michaud today praised last night's House passage of the Protecting Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Responders Act. Michaud is a cosponsor of the bill, which ensures that volunteer firefighters and emergency medical responders do not count toward a municipality's responsibility to provide certain employees health coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
"Since passage of the Affordable Care Act, I've said that the law isn't perfect and have worked with my colleagues to develop ways to improve it. After three years of partisan votes to repeal or undermine the law, I'm glad that the House finally came together to improve it," said Michaud. "I hope that this bipartisan, commonsense fix for our brave volunteer firefighters and first responders is a sign of things to come."
The ACA requires employers with 50 or more full-time equivalent (FTE) employees to make healthcare available to their employees. If passed by the Senate, the Protecting Volunteers and Emergency Responders Act would ensure that volunteer firefighters and first responders, who often receive nominal compensation or benefits, do not factor into an employer's formula.
The House yesterday also passed the Hire More Heroes Act, which aims to encourage employers to hire more veterans by exempting an individual from an employer's count if they receive their healthcare through the Department of Veterans Affairs' or the Department of Defense's TRICARE program. This healthcare already satisfies an individual's minimum essential coverage requirements under the law. Michaud, Ranking Member of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee, voted in favor of the bill.