Retail Industry Group Stands against Employer Health Care Mandate

July 10, 2009 ( - The National Retail Federation has voiced its strong opposition to mandated employer health care coverage.

The Federation “cannot support an employer mandate of any type,” said NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations Steve Pfister in a statement, according to Reuters. Pfister said the retail industry is a labor-heavy one that operates on a thin profit margin.

“Employer mandates of any kind amount to a tax on jobs,” he added, the news report said. “We cannot afford to have new and existing jobs priced out of our collective reach because of mandated health coverage.”

The statement pits the U.S. retail industry’s main lobby group against Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the nation’s largest retailer, which said it would support such a measure (see Wal-Mart Endorses Employer Mandate in Health Care Reform ).

President Obama has said that if a new health care reform bill requires employers to provide health insurance coverage, such a mandate should not apply to small employers (see Obama Makes Suggestions on Health Care Reform ).