Critic of ‘Hire More Heroes’ Bill is Dead Wrong


January 22, 2015

The column by Peter A. Gudmundsson (The Hire More Heroes Act is misguided. There is no veterans’ unemployment crisis.) that appeared in the Jan. 17, 2015 edition of the Macomb Daily is itself misguided and ill informed. In this column, the author asserts that the proposed legislation that would allow employers to hire veterans without those hires counting towards the 50 employee threshold that requires companies to comply with Affordable Care Act (‘Obamacare’) mandates is not a service to veterans. Nothing could be further from the truth. To support his assertions, the author claims there is no unemployment problem amongst Post 9/11 Veterans, and this change in law would not serve as an enticement for businesses to consider hiring veterans.

Multiple media outlets and entertainment offerings portray post 9/11 veterans as having Post Traumatic Stress issues or other factors that stigmatize this group when they seek employment. The fact that these portrayals are not factual is a harder message to convey when so few Americans can be counted as veterans any longer. With legislation like ‘Hiring More Heroes’, employers will be incentivized to take a chance on veterans, and when these prove to be successful hires, and rest assured, they will, this success will serve to dispel the stigmas assigned to this generation of American heroes, and further expand employment opportunities for these most deserving individuals.

The point of the Affordable Care Act was to expand access to health insurance. Considering that Post 9/11 veterans already have access to VA care or Tricare for varying periods after their service, what goal is served by requiring employers to count them toward the ACA mandate? In this case, health care is already being provided and the incentive produced by this legislation increases job opportunities for those that have served this country so nobly. I cannot think of recent legislation that produces anything approaching a win-win for employers, veterans and taxpayers as the ‘Hire More Heroes Act’ does. This is a great bill that should become law. Mr. Gudmundsson is just flat out wrong in his opposition to this legislation.

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  • Kathy

    The Hire More Heroes Act amends Sec. 4980H of the IRS tax code, also referred to as the “employer shared responsibility requirement.” (Google Senate Finance and Hire More Heroes to view the document from the meeting on this bill and see the footnote on page 2) HR22 also will make it legal to deny veterans the ability to participate in employer private healthcare. This bill adds nearly $1 billion to the deficit and it comes from employers who skirt the ACA by not counting a veteran as a person. This is a law that will be in effect forever. Imagine the repercussions for your fellow vets in the future. Are you comfortable with VA and Tricare enough to make it the only care you and your family receives forever? Lastly, how would this even work. Would veterans put on their resume, “Brings own Healthcare” because we know not all vets have healthcare. The guy that has sponsored this bill is not a vet, makes $174,000 a year and worked at his parent’s McDonald’s before going to college. Where do you think his motivations lie? Oh and he and his family have great healthcare and don’t have to go on lists to be seen. Hire More Heroes is a kick in the gut for any service member who put their life on the line for our country. The fact that it passed unanimously in the House is testament to what is wrong with Congress. Thank you for your service.

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