Witnesses from employers complained about the effects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) on benefits costs at a recent congressional field hearing in Greenfield, Ind. — but a doctor who supports the law says the critics are afraid of the law’s popularity.
The Republican leaders of the House Education & the Workforce health subcommittee organized the hearing to show how PPACA is affecting educational employers and other employers in Indiana.
Rep. Luke Messer, R-Ind., a subcommittee member, was trying to round up support for a bill that would exempt schools from the PPACA employer coverage mandate provision, and the fines to be imposed on employers that fail to comply with the mandate.
“The federal government should not be taxing schools and small businesses to pay for the president’s health care law,” Messer said at the hearing, according to a written version of his testimony posted on the committee website.
The witnesses recruited by the Republican committee members said PPACA is raising their costs.
Nate LaMar, international regional manager at Draper Inc., said his privately held, family-owned company will spend $1,830 this year on Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) fees for 500 plan enrollees, and about $75,000 on PPACA transitional reinsurance program fees. The company will probably have to pay the “Cadillac plan” excise tax to be imposed on high-cost benefit plans, LaMar said.
To try to minimize additional plan costs, “Draper is strongly enforcing that its part-time employees’ annual averages cannot exceed 30 hours per week,” he said.