U.S. Rep. John Shimkus (R-Illinois) supported legislation this week to protect volunteer firefighters and emergency responders from being punished under Obamacare.
Without this change to the law, the Internal Revenue Service could count these volunteers toward Obamacare’s employer mandate, potentially saddling local governments and fire departments with unsustainable financial burdens and threatening public safety.
“The brave men and women who volunteer to respond in dangerous situations shouldn’t have to worry that a flawed federal law will keep them from serving their communities in times of need,” said Shimkus. “Much like the House has already done to reverse Obamacare’s incentives to cut hours and slow hiring, I’ll continue voting to dismantle this disaster, piece by piece if I have to, before it does irreparable damage to our health care system and our economy.”
The International Association of Fire Chiefs has warned that 780,000 volunteer firefighters may be subject to Obamacare’s employer mandate, which could lead to volunteer fire departments closing or significantly curtailing their emergency response activities. This legislation, approved unanimously by the House of Representatives on Monday, would offer certainty and stability to volunteer fire departments by explicitly exempting these organizations from the employer mandate.