I’m rising today in strong support of the Hire More Heroes Act, introduced by my friend, Rodney Davis, from Illinois.
When he first came to me with this idea, it was a no-brainer that I would want to support this effort because of the key constituencies that it serves. I think that everyone would agree that the intent or the goal of the Affordable Care Act is to make sure that all people have access to affordable healthcare. It’s a large piece of legislation; it needs some work. It needs some fixing and this legislation seeks to do that.
First of all, the Affordable Care Act requires employers with 50 or more full-time employees to provide health insurance or to pay a per-employee fine. This measure does a very important thing that would encourage these small-business owners to do two things: to grow, as well as to hire more veterans by exempting those who receive insurance either from the VA, or those reservists like I was. I was covered under TRICARE for a long period of time after my deployment. It would make it so that these employers would not have to count these veterans towards that 50 total.
Secondly, this bill serves veterans. We’re facing an unfortunate and unacceptable huge number of unemployed veterans – many people who are young, and who are capable and coming back from conflicts overseas, and these are veterans who will serve as a huge asset to businesses of any size because they come with a unique amount of training. They are highly disciplined. They know what it means to work as a member of a team. They know what it means to put the mission first, and they are servant-leaders at their very best.
This bill provides an incentive for businesses to hire veterans. This is a common-sense improvement to the Affordable Care Act that will benefit both of these important groups. I urge my colleagues to support H.R. 3474 and yield back the balance of my time.