New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s repeated doubling down in support of Obamacare is continuing to cause headaches as the 2014 cycle heats up, with the latest hit coming in the form of its impact on volunteer firefighters.
A Thursday morning release from the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) detailed the potential ramifications for Granite State families:
The AP explains “volunteers are considered employees for tax purposes, a classification that grew out of an ongoing effort to attract firefighters by offering them such incentives as stipends, retirement benefits and free gym memberships.” Unfortunately this incentive program also “leaves open the question of whether the volunteer firefighters fall under the health care law’s requirement that employers with 50 or more employees working at least 30 hours a week must provide health insurance for them.”
These onerous ObamaCare requirements, if forced upon volunteer fire departments, could impose higher taxes on New Hampshire families or penalties on the departments, many of which are already struggling financially. Unable to cope with the crippling new costs, many volunteer fire departments would be forced to cut back volunteers’ hours and eliminate benefit programs at a time when it is already difficult to recruit volunteers.
It goes on to note that 87 percent of all fire departments are “all or mostly volunteer.”
“ObamaCare has been a disaster, and now volunteer firefighters and the communities that rely on them are the latest victims of Jeanne Shaheen’s terrible law,” stated spox Brook Hougesen. “Eighty-seven percent of New Hampshire’s fire departments are volunteer, and it is unfair and unfortunate that those firefighters and the communities they protect are the latest ObamaCare victims.”