The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, and the broader U.S. legal system remain in the crosshairs of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in 2014, Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer Thomas Donohue said Wednesday.
Delivering the business federation’s annual state of American business speech at the organization’s Washington, D.C., headquarters, Donohue said the group will work to address companies’ concerns about Obamacare, Dodd-Frank and litigation, echoing pledges he made in last year’s address.
The state of American companies “is improving and our economy is gaining strength,” Donohue said. But frivolous lawsuits and uncertainty about regulations could hurt this momentum, he said.
“By making the right decisions and adopting the necessary reforms, we can usher in a new era of economic prosperity and extend its benefits to all Americans,” Donohue said.
On Obamacare, Donohue said the Chamber this year will try to delay, change or repeal the employer mandate, which requires businesses with at least 50 full-time employees, including full-time equivalent workers, to give reasonably priced health insurance to them or risk fines. The mandate is set to take effect in January 2015.
The group also will work to give businesses “more flexibility” on their health plan choices, Donohue said.
“We’ve been working pragmatically to fix those parts of Obamacare that can be fixed—while doing everything possible to make regulations and mandates as manageable as possible for businesses,” he said.
As for Dodd-Frank, Donohue said the Chamber is pushing for changes to provisions of the law it says don’t work, and the group is urging federal officials to act on issues that it says the law doesn’t address, in an effort to ensure companies have access to capital. The group last year released the Fix, Add, Replace Agenda [PDF], which called for several Dodd-Frank alterations, including a mechanism for more coordination between the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and other agencies on regulations.
The Chamber in 2014 also will work to curb frivolous lawsuits and push for “reasonable reforms” to the False Claims Act to help the law better combat fraud by government contractors, Donohue said. Last year, President Barack Obama’s former deputy attorney general, David Ogden, who is working with the Chamber on its FCA reform push, said the statute should put more emphasis on reducing fraud in the first place—for instance, spotlighting internal compliance programs over incentives for whistleblowers.
This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.
To view this content, please continue to their sites.
LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.
For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]