Working hand-in-hand with the IAFC’s Government Relations Department, several members of the VCOS board of directors have been engaged in a sustained effort for the past several months to bring attention to areas of concern within the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) which will directly affect volunteer and combination departments.
Chief Dan Eggleston, the VCOS International Director, and I have had meetings with various legislators and/or their staff on Capitol Hill to discuss the ramifications of the new legislation and its potential impact, using the IAFC’s comments submitted to the IRS, which is drafting the regulations, as our talking points.
I encourage you to become informed on the issue by reading the information on the IAFC website; the VCOS board urges you to take action by sending your comments directly to the IRS on the issue of whether fire departments will be required to offer health insurance to volunteers and under what criteria they will be required to do so.
The IRS has made it relatively painless to submit comments. You may do so by going to the comment page on the IRS website and submitting by any of the following three methods:
· You can personalize the letter drafted by the IAFC (doc) by putting in your own ESO’s information. Then copy and paste the contents of the letter into the appropriate comment section;
· You can upload the personalized letter to the webpage;
· If you prefer to write your own anecdotal information about how this PPACA will affect your department, you can write your own comments into the comment section.
All three options are equal and will be directed to the IRS staff.
I want to thank everyone for your attention to this matter; it’s of critical importance that we let our voices be heard before the provisions are finalized. The deadline to submit comments is Friday, November 8.
If you need clarification on any of these matters, call the IAFC headquarters at 703-273-0911 and ask to speak with a member of the Government Relations Department.
PPACA Comments Letter
Chief Timothy S. Wall
Chair of the VCOS Section
International Association of Fire Chiefs