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@EdWorkforceCmte Delivers for Workers, Small Businesses During National Small Business Week

According to research by NFIB, small businesses have ranked the “Cost of Health Insurance” as their number one problem for 32 straight years. For reference, 32 years ago was 1991. Back then, Michael Jordan was still on his first stint with the Bulls, Amazon was just a rainforest, and Silence of the Lambs was on its way to winning five Academy Awards. A lot has changed in 32 years.

What hasn’t changed is the need for health care to be more affordable for workers and job creators. As we celebrate National Small Business Week, Education and the Workforce Committee Republicans are highlighting three common sense, concrete solutions to address the number one issue plaguing small businesses. During our recent Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee hearing titled, “Reducing Health Care Costs for Working Americans and Their Families,” Republicans outlined the following three solutions that would provide immediate relief to job creators and working Americans:

1). Self-Insurance Protection ActThis legislation protects small businesses’ access to stop-loss insurance, a form of insurance that helps employers self-insure and protects them from catastrophic health costs. Government regulators endanger access to stop-loss insurance by threatening to redefine it and overregulating it. By increasing access to stop-loss insurance, this legislation will expand choice for small and midsized business owners who want to offer more affordable health benefits to their employees. 

2.) Association Health Plans Act This bill increases health coverage options and lowers costs for small businesses by expanding association health plans (AHPs). By allowing small businesses to pool their resources together, AHPs would level the playing field between small and larger businesses. These plans could save up to 50 percent on health insurance. 

3.) Telehealth Benefit Expansion for Workers ActThis legislation expands access to telehealth services by allowing employers to offer standalone telehealth coverage. This coverage is especially valuable for part-time workers, like restaurant industry staff, seasonal employees, and retail workers, who do not qualify for their employers’ group health plan. Telehealth usage exploded during the pandemic because it gave Americans much-needed flexibility. Small businesses are more sensitive to a tight labor market and employee scheduling conflicts, so telehealth is of particular benefit to them.

Bottom line: Committee Republicans are spearheading innovative health care solutions to bring down health care costs for small businesses. As the engine of our economy, small businesses deserve more than just a week of recognition. They deserve real solutions from their elected representatives.
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