Sen. Carper Statement on Treasury Department’s Decision for Volunteer Fire Departments and the Health Care Law

Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and Co-Chair of the Congressional Fire Caucus, issued the following statement in response to the Treasury Department’s clarification of the health care law for volunteer fire departments:

“Today’s decision by the Treasury Department is welcome news for Delaware’s volunteer fire departments,” said Chairman Carper. “The First State relies on these departments to protect us in emergencies and they operate on very limited budgets. This decision makes it clear that volunteer firefighters and emergency responders should not be counted toward the employer mandate in the health care law, ensuring that these volunteer departments aren’t on the hook for additional costs and can use their limited financial resources on the tools and equipment they need to help keep our communities safe.”

The Treasury Department’s decision states that volunteer firefighters should not be counted as employees and subject to the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate to offer health insurance if it has over 50 employees. Sen. Carper co-sponsored legislation to protect Delaware’s 60 volunteer fire departments from this provision of the law.