ACA Could Force Volunteer Fire Departments to Provide Health Insurance

Published 03/21 2014 04:37PM

Updated 03/21 2014 05:10PM

Congressman Richard Hanna is supporting a change to Obamacare to avoid forcing volunteer fire departments to buy health insurance for its members.

One aspect of the Affordable Care Act requires any organization with more than 50 volunteers to provide health insurance, although the rule is not currently being enforced by the federal government.

Nevertheless, Hanna thinks the law should be changed so there's no chance it will ever be enforced. He was joined by Vestal Fire Department officials at Station 3 in Ross Corners today.

"It's there. It's the law," said Hanna. "People are looking at it saying, 'Oh my gosh. This isn't something we meant to happen how can we undo this?'"

Vestal currently has 150 volunteer firefighters, and if the rule were enforced, it could cost them in the neighborhood of $300,000.

Fire officials say that would seriously impact their budget, affecting how much they could spend on purchasing and repairing equipment.

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