By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) voted in favor of H.R.1191, the Protecting Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Responders Act. The bill will ensure that volunteer emergency services workers are not counted as full-time employees under the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) employer mandate. This bill would protect fire departments from burdensome health care costs, which could lead them to close or significantly reduce their emergency response activities.
The International Association of Fire Chiefs warned that 780,000 volunteer firefighters may be subject to rules under the ACA without this bill. Implementing this legislation would have no significant budgetary effect and would not affect direct spending on revenues.
Cook said, “Volunteer firefighters provide vital services in many communities. Without this legislation they’ll become a causality of Obamacare. Simply put, this is a public safety issue.”
A member of the House Natural Resources, Armed Services, and Foreign Affairs Committees, Cook served as an infantry officer and retired as a Colonel after 26 years in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was awarded the Bronze Star medal with valor device and two Purple Hearts for actions in combat.