Issues & Advocacy

Issue Brief

Health care

The National Restaurant Association supports reforming the Affordable Care Act to broaden access and lower employer coverage costs.

The Association has long advocated for commonsense changes to the current health care law. Restaurant operators who can provide health insurance benefits to employees often find them to be critical recruiting and retention tools. However, since the enactment of the ACA and the law’s employer mandate, restaurants have spent hundreds of additional administrative hours managing and delivering these benefits. The added time, money and resources have not improved the quality of health insurance restaurants offer their employees. Alarmingly, the ACA requirements have often discouraged restaurants from expanding and limited the degree to which they can hire additional employees.

Compliance issues, such as restructuring employee hours, requiring businesses to cover all 10 essential health benefits, and the complicated employee reporting structures, increase the cost of employer-provided health insurance without adding value to the benefits or growing the business. Addressing these issues would help lower administrative costs and expand access so more employers could offer health insurance to employees.

These reforms – combined with a strong individual marketplace that guarantees coverage – would help reduce the cost-shifting that happens with uncompensated care, stabilizing provider and insurance rates. We ask Congress to build off the foundation of the ACA while making much-needed improvements to help both the individual and employer marketplaces thrive.

NRA position

We believe the following improvements are needed:

  • Repeal the ACA’s employer mandate.
  • Repeal the ACA’s “Cadillac tax.”
  • Repeal the ACA’s Health Insurance Tax (HIT).
  • Allow the formation of Association Health Plans
  • Give employers access to more plan types and options.
  • Allow employers flexibility in meeting essential health benefits requirements. 
  • Allow insurers more latitude in age rating for health plans.
  • Require plan and provider price transparency.
  • Reform medical malpractice insurance.

More resources

The NRA Health Care HQ's Marketplace helps restaurateurs and their employees shop for ACA-compliant health plans.