Today the National Restaurant Association expressed their qualified support for the Senate health care bill, saying that it was an improvement on last month’s House-passed version. In particular, the NRA says they “applaud the provisions that protect small businesses, which are the backbone of our industry and the U.S. economy,” and by that they mean the part-time worker exemption — which will exempt a restaurant from having to count part-time employees when calculating the employment threshold for requiring benefits. They still have some concern over what the definition of a full-time employee will be, given the seasonality and demographics of parts of the restaurant industry.
The NRA is also a bit concerned with the 60-day waiting period for full-time employees to begin to receive benefits, however they are going to continue to push for a 90-day waiting period in the final bill, given the high turnover of restaurant employees. If you’re looking for a senator to whom you might write a strongly worded letter, try Mary Landrieu of Lousiana — the NRA credits her with helping them fight the 90-day fight.
Statement on Health Care Reform Bills [National Restaurant Association]
EARLIER: Is Health Care Reform Bad for Your Restaurant’s Health? [Chainleader]
UPDATE: Beth Solomon of the The National Restaurant Association called to clarify that the organization neither supports nor rejects the Senate bill, but they are encouraged by the direction that provisions are going.