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Employer Mandate Changes to Affordable Care Act Would Ease Burden on Small Businesses

Matthew Haller, 202-662-0770
Jenna Weisbord, 202-662-0766 

Calculation to Determine Large Employer and Full-time Employee Status “Devastating” 


WASHINGTON, March 5— Congress and the Administration must find better solutions that allow small businesses to implement the Affordable Care Act efficiently, according to Shelly Sun, co-founder & CEO of BrightStar Care and a member of the International Franchise Association board of directors, who testified today before a House Ways & Means Oversight Subcommittee hearing entitled, “Tax-Related Provisions in the President’s Health Care Law.”

“The Affordable Care Act is anything but affordable,” Sun said.  “It adds taxes, costs and fees, while threatening the economic viability and job creation opportunities for many of our nation’s small businesses.”

According to a study by the nonpartisan Hudson Institute, the employer mandate puts 3.2 million full-time jobs at risk in the franchise industry alone, and will add more than $6.4 billion in increased costs to franchise businesses, not including the cost of regulatory compliance.

Specifically, Sun argues for changes that would relieve part of the burden of the employer mandate, while providing small business owners with the certainty they need. For example, Sun said that “changing the definition of ‘full-time employees’ to more closely align with the current standard of 40 hours per week would help small business better manage their operations.

“This is the number that American businesses have managed their hourly employees to for decades, and setting the definition as 30 hours per week simply forces employers to manage their workers to fewer hours,” said Sun.

In addition, she said that defining a “large employer” as one with at least 50 full-time employees instead of full-time equivalents “would provide small businesses with more certainty about their status, allowing them to better control costs and make long-term business plans for future growth. It is incredibly challenging that an employer with 50 full time employees is in the same category as an employer with thousands of employees,” said Sun.


About the International Franchise Association
The International Franchise Association is the world's oldest and largest organization representing franchising worldwide. Celebrating over 50 years of excellence, education and advocacy, IFA works through its government relations and public policy, media relations and educational programs to protect, enhance and promote franchising. Through its media awareness campaign highlighting the theme, Franchising: Building Local Businesses, One Opportunity at a Time, IFA promotes the economic impact of the more than 825,000 franchise establishments, which support nearly 18 million jobs and $2.1 trillion of economic output for the U.S. economy. IFA members include franchise companies in over 300 different business format categories, individual franchisees and companies that support the industry in marketing, law and business development.  


About BrightStar Care
With headquarters in Gurnee, IL, BrightStar Care® is a full-service healthcare staffing agency that provides medical and non-medical homecare to private clients within their homes, as well as supplemental healthcare staff to corporate clients. BrightStar Care has more than 250 independently owned and operated franchises in 38 states. The BrightStar Care well-qualified, attentive caregivers provide peace of mind to clients and their families. They work to understand the needs of their clients and provide customized care to match them with a qualified, pre-screened caregiver who is compatible with their needs. BrightStar Care® is one of the few home healthcare providers that offer both medical and non-medical homecare available to all clients 24/7.