ALEXANDRIA, VA - Todayï¿½ï¿½s complex ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is constitutional is damaging to the nationï¿½ï¿½s 148,000-plus convenience and fuel retailers, said NACS Chairman Tom Robinson, president of Santa Clara, Calif.-based Robinson Oil Corp.
"The Courtï¿½ï¿½s decision to keep in place employer mandates will place significant burdens on nearly 40% of our industry and put these businesses at a substantial competitive disadvantage," said Robinson.
The Supreme Courtï¿½ï¿½s decision also effectively continues the mandate for menu labeling, which the convenience retailing industry opposes.
NACS had been actively engaged in communicating theindustryï¿½ï¿½s concerns regarding burdens that convenience and fuel retailers would face when the requirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act were to take full effect in 2014. Since the legislation was signed into law by President Obama in 2010, the association had advocated repeal of the employer mandate provisions and reform of the grandfathering provisions. NACS also joined the Employers for Flexibility in Health Care coalition, which worked to develop a common platform to advocate more reasonable provisions as they apply to part-time, temporary and seasonal workers.
"For NACS, the health-care debate was very focused. Rather than engaging on the broad tenets of whether the government should or should not be involved, we focused directly on the effects that mandate would have on conï¿½venience retailers, and todayï¿½ï¿½s ruling is bad news for our members," said Robinson.
"We are well aware that the countryï¿½ï¿½s health-care system is broken and requires a serious overhaul," said Robinson. "We will continue to support common-sense reform to make the system more efficient and eliminatewaste and fraud, but todayï¿½ï¿½s decision is a step in the wrong direction."
NACS has convened a small group of members from the NACS Board of Directors to serve on a health-care task force that will review legal counselï¿½ï¿½s analysis of the Supreme Courtï¿½ï¿½s decision. Ultimately, this group will help ensure that the convenience and fuel retailing industry is properly positioned as the health-care issue plays out before the November elections and beyond.
NACS is reviewing the specifics of the Supreme Courtï¿½ï¿½s decision and will provide analysis of the complexities of the decision in future editions of NACS Daily.