House Passes Smucker-Supported Bill to Lower Health Care Costs
Washington, D.C. – The U.S. House of Representatives today passed legislation cosponsored by U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker that would make it easier for small businesses to promote a healthy workforce and offer more affordable health care coverage.
The Small Business Health Fairness Act (H.R. 1101) would empower small businesses to band together through association health plans to negotiate health insurance costs on behalf of their employees – providing quality care at a lower cost.
“Small businesses throughout our communities have been hit hard by Obamacare’s mandates, soaring health care costs, and limited choices,” said Rep. Smucker. “This bill will help put small businesses on a level playing field with larger companies and unions, expand affordable coverage for working families, and lower administrative costs. I will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to advance commonsense measures to fix our nation’s broken health care system.
The Small Business Health Fairness Act amends the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) to provide for the establishment and governance of association health plans, which are group health plans sponsored by business associations.
According to the National Federation of Independent Business:
- “Cost of Health Insurance” was the problem of greatest concern facing small businesses in 2016, and is cited as “critical” by 52 percent of small business owners
- Health insurance costs for small businesses has risen 56 percent in the last decade – an increase that outpaces wages and inflation
- As a result of rising health care costs, some small business owners have stopped offering employer-sponsored coverage – resulting in fewer options for employees