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Grassley seeks reasons for new Obamacare employer certification requirement

Charles Grassley
Charles Grassley

WASHINGTON – Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa is asking the Obama Administration to explain a new requirement that employers certify that they did not reduce their workforce to become eligible for a delay in complying with Obamacare.

“If the Obama Administration is so certain that PPACA (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) will not lead to a reduction in employment, it begs the question: What is the point of the certification process?,” Grassley wrote in a letter to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.  “The requested information is completely unnecessary, unless the Administration believes the employer mandate is so harmful to businesses that they would rather reduce their workforce than comply.

“The regulation appears to be no more than political theatre, designed to provide the Administration with an unverifiable talking point that employers did not lay off workers in order to avoid complying with PPACA. If the Administration believes, as I do, that the employer mandate will cost jobs, the responsible thing to do would be to ask Congress to repeal this provision.”

The health care law requires employers to provide insurance to their workers or pay a penalty.  The Obama Administration has imposed several delays of the mandate, most recently announcing that employers with 50 to 99 full-time employees will be exempt from the employer mandate until January 2016.  To be eligible for the delay, an employer must certify that it has between 50 and 99 employees, and that it has not reduced its workforce to fall into that category.  Grassley believes the certification appears pointless and unverifiable.

The text of Grassley’s letter is available here.

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