RILA cautions Congress to tread carefully toward healthcare reform

Arlington, Va. The Retail Industry Leaders Association said it sent a letter Tuesday to House and Senate leaders identifying core industry reform priorities and asking them to move cautiously to prevent disruption to retail employee healthcare benefits.

In the letter, John Emling, senior VP government affairs, wrote, “We urge you to advance a reform package that preserves ERISA [Employee Retirement and Income Security Act] preemption, contains costs, provides for benefit design flexibility, does not ask employers to pay for the coverage of employees who choose not to purchase an employer’s plan, and streamlines compliance for employers and employees alike. With these priorities, we can build upon the existing system and make health care more accessible and affordable for our employees.”

The letter also warned Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that RILA would not support legislation that undermines the retail industry’s ability to continue offering employees quality, affordable health care.

Specifically, RILA said it would oppose reform legislation that increases benefit costs through an immediate auto-enrollment mandate and does not exempt part-time employees.