Senate committee OKs bill letting employers exempt vets from triggering health coverage

A Senate committee has voted unanimously to exclude veterans from the 50-worker threshold that triggers required coverage for employees under President Barack Obama's health care law.

Before the Senate Finance Committee approved the measure by 26-0, Chairman Orrin Hatch — a Utah Republican — said the measure would encourage companies to hire veterans.

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Democrats said they shared that goal, but said they believed the bill would have little if any impact on veterans.

Obama's law is gradually phasing in a requirement that companies with at least 50 workers offer health coverage to their workers.

The Senate bill would let employers exclude from that count veterans who receive health care from the Department of Veterans Affairs or the military.

The House approved the legislation earlier this month 412-0.