Today, yet another chapter of the attenuated battle between OFCCP and the healthcare industry unfolded on Capitol Hill. During a hearing on H.R. 3633, known as the Protecting Health Care Providers from Increased Administrative Burdens Act, Representative Tim Walberg, the bill’s sponsor, reported that Secretary of Labor Perez provided him with a letter detailing OFCCP’s promise to put a 5 year moritorium on compliance investigations of TRICARE employers. Curiously, some TRICARE providers already recieve exemption from OFCCP jurisdiction. Skeptical of the Agency’s intentions, Walberg questioned what would occur after the 5 year enforcement hiatus, stating:
If the secretary has accomplished anything [with this letter], he has signaled to our TRICARE providers the day of reckoning is only delayed.
While not explictly clear, it seems the Agency’s promise was a calculated attempt to reduce support for Representative Walberg’s bill – which would have implications for all of the healthcare community not just TRICARE participants. H.R. 3633 goes beyond any present exemption for TRICARE providers and proposes to exclude from OFCCP jurisdiction all providers of health care services to individuals.
This drama is sure to continue to play out over the coming weeks and months and we’ll be sure to keep you aprised of any new developments so stay tuned . . .