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Foxx and Walberg Submit Comments to Department of Labor on Expansion of Access to Health Care for Families and Small Businesses

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), chairwoman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, and Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI), chairman of the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions, today submitted comments to the Department of Labor (DOL) calling on the administration to consider provisions included in the Small Business Health Fairness Act (H.R. 1101) as DOL works to expand access to association health plans (AHPs) to benefit American workers and families.

Chairwoman Foxx and Chairman Walberg wrote:

“As the primary House committee of jurisdiction over employer-provided health coverage, the Committee approved and the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Small Business Health Fairness Act of 2017 to empower small employers to band together through AHPs.”

Foxx and Walberg continued, “As the Department considers additional rulemaking related to AHPs, we ask that you consider the provisions included in the Small Business Health Fairness Act of 2017 as a strong, workable, and bipartisan model to successfully promote affordability, flexibility, and predictability for American businesses. Excerpts from the Committee’s report on the legislation are attached as additional comments for your consideration on the proposed rule.

“We are pleased to see the administration’s leadership on this important rulemaking effort, and we look forward to working alongside it to make AHPs a reality for small business employees across the country.”

Background: The House of Representatives passed the Small Business Health Fairness Act (H.R. 1101) in March 2017, a bill that expands health care coverage and lowers costs for working families. Introduced by Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX), chairman of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security, and Rep. Tim Walberg, the legislation empowers small businesses to band together though AHPs and negotiate for lower health insurance costs on behalf of their employees. The bill passed by a vote of 236 to 175.

In October of 2017, President Trump signed an executive order to allow small businesses to join together through AHPs.

Click here to read full text of the letter.

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