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The PJ Tatler

Bryan Preston


December 17, 2013 - 6:59 am

Thousands of local fire departments across the United States are either all or part volunteer forces. Thanks to Obamacare and a quirk in the way the IRS sees these volunteers, these departments face the prospect of paying vast amounts of money in healthcare coverage, or closing down, reports WBTV in Pennsylvania. The issue is that the government views these volunteers as employees of the fire departments even though the vast majority are not being paid.

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According to the National Volunteer Fire Council, there are more than 783,000 volunteer firefighters in the United States. That’s 70% of America’s Firefighting Force, according to the Council.

“Our volunteers are the backbone of public safety as far as the fire services goes here in Lancaster County. We literally couldn’t do without them,” Willis said.

Sen. Joe Manchin and several other senators  are working on a bill that would keep Obamacare from forcing volunteer fire departments to either extend healthcare to their volunteers or close their doors. That bill has not moved yet despite the fact that that Obamacare issue has been making headlines since early December, so fire chiefs are stuck not knowing how Obamacare will force them to handle their volunteer firefighters.

Volunteer firefighters typically own their own businesses or have jobs, and therefore healthcare, from a source outside the fire departments they donate their time and risk their lives for. Fire department healthcare would be redundant even if the departments could afford to offer it, but the vast majority cannot afford it.


Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

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The tipping point will most likely be when employers dump all their employees onto the exchanges next year....unless the death panels start condemning our ill loved ones to death before then. To say the repercussions will be far-reaching and harsh is an incredible understatement, but I cannot think of a group of treasonous, radical vermin who deserve it more than the current neo-communists masquerading as loyal, patriotic Americans.

Remember BENGHAZI!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
My area is served by a volunteer fire department. It's a shoestring operation, never flush with cash. I'd be surprised to find one anywhere that can afford health care for the volunteers. Some of the bigger ones have some paid staff, and I suppose they provide health care for them, but this is a skeleton crew. The bulk of the manpower is provided by the volunteers. Take them away, and a lot of houses will burn down, oh, and a lot of small fires will get out of control and become major forest fires.

I'm sure the Obama administration will just consider that another one of those unexpected bonuses as they push us deliberately and forcefully toward collapse.
1 year ago
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