Today, America's largest retailers applauded budget negotiators for including an important fix to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, a budget package that will end any talk of a debt limit default ahead of the crucial holiday shopping season.
The package strikes a provision of the ACA which requires employers with more than 200 employees to automatically enroll a full-time employee in a health plan if coverage was not voluntarily chosen or declined by an employee. In response, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) issued the following statement:
"Retailers welcome the repeal of the ACA's automatic enrollment requirement, a provision that had the potential of forcing employees into a health plan that they did not want or need and creating an administrative nightmare for businesses. Striking this redundant requirement off the books puts health decision making back in the hands of American workers and their families, and provides employers with relief from potentially problematic and burdensome regulations," said Christine Pollack, vice president of government affairs at RILA.
"RILA and its Employers for Flexibility in Health Care (E-FLEX) Coalition have been advocating for the repeal of the auto enroll requirement since the passage of the ACA five years ago, and we are pleased to see bipartisan agreement that this provision needs to go," continued Pollack. "We urge Congress to take timely action in passing this legislation."
In addition, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 eliminates the looming threat of the federal government defaulting on its loans, which would harm consumer confidence heading into the holiday shopping season.
Jennifer Safavian, executive vice president for government affairs at RILA, added, "Removing the threat of a federal debt default is welcome news for the retail industry as we enter the busiest shopping period of the year. Consumer confidence is of the utmost importance to retailers heading into the holiday season."
The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 is expected to reach the House floor for a vote on Wednesday.
RILA is the trade association of the world's largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.