National Grocers Association President and CEO Statement Peter Larkin
"Today's decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the constitutionality of the individual mandate, a key provision of the Affordable Care Act, makes the future more certain for employers who must now continue to prepare for 2014 when the majority of the law's provisions will take effect.
"With this decision, N.G.A. will redouble its efforts to minimize the impact and burdens on independent retail grocers by continuing to work closely with fellow members of the Employers for Flexibility in Healthcare Coalition to educate the administration on the important need for maximum flexibility in regulatory requirements.
"N.G.A. will also continue to work closely with Congress to address key provisions and requirements of the law that are most troublesome to N.G.A., such as the 30 hour threshold for full-time employees, the need for maximum flexibility when determining an employee's status as full or part-time and the chain restaurant menu labeling provision that Congress did not intend for grocery stores. Additionally, N.G.A. will continue to educate our members on how to implement and comply with the law, which can be a challenge for even the most sophisticated operations.
"N.G.A. supports healthcare reform that increases competition in the marketplace and reduces costs on employers making it easier to provide benefits to employees and their families. N.G.A. will continue to work closely with Congress and the administration to push for regulations and support legislation that supports this goal while addressing the unique needs of independent retail grocers and wholesalers and their employees."
National Restaurant Association President Dawn Sweeney
“Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court is troubling for restaurant operators and business owners across the country,” said Dawn Sweeney, President and CEO of the National Restaurant Association. “We encourage Congress to continue efforts to repeal the law, since the Court’s decision leaves the employer requirements in place, provisions which impact restaurant operators’ ability to grow and create jobs.”
Based on the Supreme Court’s ruling to uphold the law, employers with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees must offer “affordable” health insurance of minimum value to full-time employees and their dependents or pay penalties. The cost of such coverage or the penalties could threaten the very slim profit margin on which most restaurants operate.
“This unworkable law cannot stand as is,” said Sweeney. “We need reform that addresses the increasing costs our members are faced with each year. Restaurant owners are looking for solutions that will allow them to provide better health care coverage options for their team members, but they cannot be saddled with excessive costs and regulatory burdens that threaten their very business. We ask members of Congress to take action that helps the restaurant industry continue to help create jobs and grow the national economy.”
“As the analysis of the Court’s full ruling becomes clearer, we will continue to evaluate the impact of the implementation of the law on the industry,” said Sweeney.