Senate panel OKs bill to exclude vets from ObamaCare mandate

The Senate Finance Committee unanimously approved legislation Wednesday that would allow businesses to exclude some veterans from ObamaCare's employer mandate.

The Hire More Heroes Act was voted out of committee 26-0, and without amendment.

The legislation would allow companies not to count workers who are veterans for the purposes of the employer mandate if the workers receive health coverage from the Defense Department or the Department of Veterans Affairs.

"The Hire More Heroes Act will provide incentives for companies to hire more veterans by ensuring they don’t count against the 50 employee threshold if the veteran already has medical coverage through the TRICARE program or the VA," Finance Committee Chairman Orrin HatchOrrin HatchOvernight Healthcare: How GOP could help fix ObamaCare | Cures bill in jeopardy | Senators unveil Medicare reforms Senators unveil bipartisan Medicare reforms The holy grail of tax policy MORE (R-Utah) said in an opening statement.

"Quite simply, passing this legislation is something we can do that will help our nation’s veterans find needed jobs as well as help the small businesses that want to hire them."

The legislation unanimously passed the House on Jan. 6. It was the first ObamaCare-related measure considered by the new Congress.

The bill had previously passed the House by a 406-1 vote last year, but it went nowhere in the Democratic-controlled Senate. 

In part of Wednesday's mark-up, Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod BrownSanders warns Clinton: Don't rush to compromise with GOP Dem senator praises US steel after car crash Lobbying World MORE (D-Ohio) introduced an amendment to extend funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program for four years. The amendment was not germane and was not adopted.