The House passed legislation Tuesday to exempt veterans who have health insurance through the Defense or Veterans Affairs departments from ObamaCare's employer mandate.
Members voted overwhelmingly in favor of the measure, the first House bill on the floor in the new Congress, by 412-0.
The 2010 healthcare overhaul requires employers with 50 or more full-time workers to provide insurance. Lawmakers argued that exempting veterans who already have health insurance would provide a hiring incentive for businesses.
"It just makes sense that these individuals who already have great medical coverage would not have to count toward the numbers of employees that would trigger the employer mandate under the Affordable Care Act," said Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardTop DNC official calls for shake-up in wake of email scandal Bernie’s ‘revolution’ marches to Philly For privacy watchdog, Snowden changed everything MORE (D-Hawaii), an Iraq War combat veteran.
Incoming House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul RyanPaul RyanTrump, Clinton intelligence briefings likely to start next week Clinton maps out first 100 days Why a bill about catfish will show whether Ryan's serious about regulatory reform MORE (R-Wis.) said the existing statute was redundant and possibly limited opportunities for veterans trying to find jobs after serving overseas.
"Businesses have an incentive to turn away veterans, not because they don't want to hire them but because it's too expensive to hire them. This is serving as a penalty to hiring our nation's veterans," Ryan said.
The same bill passed by a vote of 406-1 in the House last year, but it went nowhere in the Senate.