WASHINGTON (WHTM) – U.S. Congressman Lou Barletta has reintroduced legislation to exempt volunteer fire and ambulance companies from the rules of the Affordable Care Act.
Baretta said his bill would ensure that emergency services volunteers are not counted as full-time employees by the Internal Revenue Service under the employer mandate of the ACA, also known as Obamacare.
The legislation was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives last year, but did not pass the Senate.
Barletta said under the employer mandate, employers with 50 or more employees must provide health insurance or pay penalties. If volunteers were considered employees, fire companies that have more than 50 employees, or are part of a municipality with over 50 employees, could be liable for health care costs.
The IRS has indicated it will not count the hours of volunteer firefighters and emergency responders when determining full-time employees, but Barletta has continued to pursue his legislation as insurance against future changes from the agency.