Healthcare reform could endanger fire protection budgets across the USA. Volunteer firefighters are categorized as employees by the IRS but not employees by other sections of the Federal government. This makes their impact under Obamacare a gray area. A number of fire departments would be pushed into the position of being forced to offer insurance if the volunteers are employees because they would have over 50 employees. Over 1800 fire departments have 50 or more volunteers and would qualify just based on the volunteers they have with hundreds more likely having their employee counts go over 50 due to the addition of volunteers.
The temptation would be strong to cut volunteers or otherwise manipulate head counts in an effort to remove public service organizations who have no way to afford health insurance for people who generally already have insurance from their businesses and employment elsewhere.
Nancy Pelosi said we had to pass the bill to find out what was in it. It seems we're still finding out new consequences. Now fire chiefs all across the country are nervously awaiting a legal ruling from the IRS on whether they are going to have a huge hole blown in their fire protection budgets.
HT: Pajamas Media