This week, Dawn Sweeney, president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association (NRA), issued the following statement outlining the NRA's concerns with the U.S. House passage of a health care reform bill.
"On behalf of the association representing the nation's second-largest private-sector employer, we are very concerned about the impact many of the provisions in this health care bill would have on the restaurant industry. The changes included in the modified version of the bill would severely and negatively impact restaurants by weakening the small business exemption, increasing penalties on employers and imposing onerous administrative burdens on the industry.

"The NRA has worked actively during the past year to advocate for provisions in the bill that would protect the industry and was successful in achieving several improvements. When changes to the final version of the bill were announced last week, the NRA Board's Executive Committee voted unanimously to publicly oppose the legislation.

"We are committed to reducing costs in the health care system and expanding health care coverage for the industry's workforce. However, we are extremely concerned that the health care bill that passed [March 21] will impose tremendous burdens on America's restaurants and hurt our industry's ability to create and sustain jobs.

"We will continue to look for every opportunity and explore every avenue to create jobs, strengthen the economy and protect the restaurant industry as this legislation moves forward to the Senate, as well as in the regulatory process. We will ask the Senate to address the protections for small businesses when they take up the reconciliation provisions. In particular, we call on them to address the provisions regarding part-time workers, which will directly impact the creation of jobs during this critical time for our country."
For more information, visit the NRA's health care resource center.