WASHINGTON – Congressman Andy Barr released the following statement on today’s clarification by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regarding the status of volunteer firefighters and emergency personnel under the Employer Mandate Provision contained in Obamacare:
“After sending a letter to the IRS and helping introduce a bill, just two days ago, I spoke on the House floor about the urgent need for the IRS to provide relief from Obamacare's costly employer mandate which Anderson County Fire Chief Mike Barnes warned could force lay offs of heroic, life-saving personnel and leave communities like Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, in Anderson County, without adequate fire protection.
“I am glad that the IRS has finally answered my calls for clarification, and I welcome today’s long-awaited announcement from the IRS that emergency services volunteers will not forced to be counted as full-time employees under the Obamacare employer mandate.
“I will continue my fight to hold this Administration accountable in all areas of government. I am pleased that we were able to protect our volunteer firefighters from yet another misguided provision of Obamacare that would have had serious implications for Kentucky communities.”
After hearing from folks across the Sixth District about their concerns that the IRS practice of treating volunteer firefighters as employees would have forced fire companies and municipalities to provide health insurance to volunteers or pay a fine, Congressman Barr sent a letter to IRS Acting Commissioner Werfel seeking clarification about how Obamacare treats volunteer firefighters under the employer mandate.
Congressman Andy Barr also helped introduce H.R. 3685, the Protecting Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Responders Act, which would have ensure that emergency services volunteers are not counted as full-time employees under the employer mandate in the Affordable Care Act.
On Wednesday, January 8, Barr spoke on the House floor about the urgent need for this clarification.