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Collins co-sponsors bill that exempts firefighters from ObamaCare

Posted 9 January 2014 at 12:00 am

Press release, Congressman Chris Collins

Congressman Chris Collins (R-Clarence) spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives in an effort to protect local volunteer fire departments from ObamaCare’s expensive and burdensome mandates.

Collins is a co-sponsor of legislation (H.R. 3685, the Protecting Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Responders Act) which will ensure volunteer service responders are not classified as full-time employees under ObamaCare.

“In November of last year, I wrote a letter to the Acting Commissioner of the IRS seeking a specific exemption for volunteer responders, but my office has yet to receive a reply,” Collins said. “Since the Administration will not correct this disservice to America’s volunteer EMTs and firefighters, we must act legislatively.”

For tax purposes the IRS classifies volunteer emergency responders as employees. With this employee designation, large volunteer fire departments will be subject to the ObamaCare Employer Mandate, forcing them to provide health insurance to their volunteers or pay a significant penalty.

“These unnecessary costs will cripple the strong volunteer fire community that protects Western New York and the rest of the country,” Collins said.

H.R. 3685 is sponsored by Rep. Lou Barletta (PA-11) and is currently in front of the Ways and Means Committee for consideration.