WASHINGTON, D.C. | March 22, 2017
Faced with rising costs and limited choices, workers are struggling to find the health care coverage they and their families need. And those employed by our nation’s small businesses face particularly tough challenges. Since 2008, the share of small businesses with less than 10 employees offering health care coverage has dropped by a staggering 36 percent. Additionally, the cost of health insurance continues to be a top concern for small business owners.
House Republicans are determined to provide working families and small businesses a better way, and the Small Business Health Fairness Act (H.R. 1101) is an important part of that effort. Introduced by Reps. Sam Johnson (R-TX) and Tim Walberg (R-MI), the legislation would empower small businesses to band together through association health plans (AHPs) and negotiate for the best possible deal for their employees. Reps. Johnson and Walberg note in a Wall Street Journal op-ed:
As House Republicans work to repeal ObamaCare and alleviate the burden it places on Americans across the country, we hope that AHPs can be a central part of the effort.
Passing our bill is a common-sense way to give small-businesses the same economies of scale in health insurance that Fortune 500 companies enjoy — with the result being more affordable coverage for workers and their families.
“Common sense.” “More affordable coverage.” That’s what the Small Business Health Fairness Act represents, and that is why job creators across the country are expressing their support for the bill:
- I have eight employees and struggle to offer group insurance because I fail to meet the insurance company’s minimum coverage requirements … I know first-hand how difficult it is for micro-businesses to offer employee group health coverage, which is why I strongly support national association health plans. — Jon Toy, Pennsylvania small business owner
- This legislation is a priority for not only my business but also the franchising community of 733,000 small business establishments across the country. — David Gronewoller, North Carolina franchisor
- H.R. 1101, the Small Business Health Fairness Act, creates an Association Health Plan option that allows small businesses to band together across state lines to form larger risk pools with increased negotiating power and decreased administrative costs. NFIB urges Congress to consider this legislation and other proposals that promote affordability, flexibility, and predictability for small businesses. — National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)
- With rising medical costs being a top concern of both individuals and employers, the impact of this increased availability of affordable insurance would be significant. — Richardson, TX Chamber of Commerce
- The Small Business Health Fairness Act will amend the current [Department of Labor] definition for AHPs under [the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)], allowing small, independent restaurants to pool together across state lines through their membership in a trade or professional association … AHPs stand as a vehicle to lower the cost of employer-sponsored health insurance and better health for all employees. — National Restaurant Association
- Association Health Plans offer small employers … the potential to band together with other employer groups in other states utilizing the federal ERISA law to maintain common benefits across state lines. We believe that AHPs are an important building block toward improving access to affordable health coverage for our nation’s small businesses. — National Retail Federation
- This legislation will increase small businesses’ bargaining power with health insurance providers and ensure a level playing field for smaller entities that want to help their workers and families with health care costs. — International Franchise Association
- The cost of providing health coverage as an employee benefit will consequently be brought within the reach of many small employers, and the ultimate beneficiaries will be small business employees and their dependents. — National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors
- H.R. 1101 would give small manufacturers and other small employers the opportunity to access a broad range of health insurance products for their employees as well as achieve greater efficiencies in managing health benefits. — National Association of Manufacturers
- By creating the opportunity for employers to pool together, the Small Business Health Fairness Act will ensure a level playing field for smaller entities that want to help their workers and their families with their health care needs. — National Association of Home Builders
- The [Affordable Care Act] has only served to hurt small employers and increase premiums for millions of Americans. ABC commends the Committee for its attention to the Small Business Health Fairness Act, which will ensure that small businesses receive the affordable, high-quality health care coverage they both need and deserve. — Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC)
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