Smucker, Rubio Lead Colleagues In Supporting President Trump's Expansion of Health Care Options

August 2, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Lloyd Smucker and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio led a group of their colleagues in the House and Senate to express support to President Donald Trump for his recent work expanding health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs), which increase health insurance options for hardworking Americans.

The new HRA rule makes it easier for small businesses to provide health insurance coverage for their employees. The final HRA rule will allow an estimated 800,000 employers running small businesses (3-49 employees) to use tax-preferred funds to purchase health insurance for themselves and their employers. This rule significantly benefits employers who do not currently offer coverage or those who face challenges offering employees a traditional group health plan. This new rule puts small businesses on a level playing field with other companies who have employer-provided health insurance.

“I am thankful President Trump’s Administration has taken steps to expand health care choices for the 2.5 million hardworking men and women employed by Pennsylvania’s small businesses. With these HRAs, employees will be empowered to choose health insurance that fits their needs, while the employer helps pay their premiums. President Trump is putting the American worker first to ensure that Americans have more choice in healthcare—more plan choices, more provider choices, and price transparency for informed choices,” said Rep. Smucker

Joining Rep. Smucker in signing the letter from the House of Representatives is: Representatives Ted Budd (R-NC), Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA), Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA), Fred Keller (R-PA), Russ Fulcher (R-ID), Ron Wright (R-TX), Paul Mitchell (R-MI), Doug LaMalfa (R-CA), Robert Wittman (R-VA), Steve King (R-IA), Daniel Meuser (R-PA), David Rouzer (R-NC), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), Andy Harris (R-MD), Barry Loudermilk (R-GA), Bill Posey (R-FL), Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), David Roe (R-TN), Scott Perry (R-PA), Gary Palmer (R-AL), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), David Kustoff (R-TN), Debbie Lesko (R-AZ), Mark Walker (R-NC), Mo Brooks (R-AL), Ted Yoho (R-FL), John Joyce (R-PA), Tom Emmer (R-MN), William Timmons (R-SC), Steve Chabot (R-OH), Ann Wagner (R-MO), Warren Davidson (R-OH), Ralph Norman (R-SC), Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), Ben Cline (R-VA), Trent Kelly (R-MS), Mike Johnson (R-LA), Kevin Hern (R-OK), John Rutherford (R-FL), and Denver Riggleman (R-VA).

Joining Sen. Rubio in signing the letter from the Senate are: Senators Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), James Lankford (R-OK), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Rob Portman (R-OH), Tom Cotton (R-AR), James Inhofe (R-OK), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Thom Tillis (R-NC),  and Steve Daines (R-MT).

The full text of the letter is below.

Dear President Trump:

We write to express our support for your recent work to expand the use of health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) and to increase health insurance options for hardworking Americans.

Today’s complex health insurance bureaucracy has left too many Americans with too few affordable options. We applaud your continued efforts to rebalance purchasing power and restore choices for small employers and individuals. Health care decisions should not be dictated by Washington – they should be made between a patient and their doctor. The same principle applies to health insurance. American families, not unelected bureaucrats, are able to make the best decisions in choosing a health insurance plan that fits their needs. Now, under the finalized HRA rule, Americans will have the ability to directly choose the insurance plan that fits their budget and needs.

The new HRA rule will make it easier for small businesses that are currently struggling to provide health insurance coverage for their employees. From 2010 to 2018, the proportion of workers at small businesses with three to 49 workers covered by an employer plan fell by more than 25 percent. The HRA final rule will allow an estimated 800,000 employers to give their workers tax-preferred funds to purchase health insurance for themselves and their families in the individual market, subject to certain conditions. This rule will particularly benefit small and mid-sized employers that do not currently offer coverage or that face significant burdens offering a traditional group health plan to employees. These commonsense changes will drive competition while helping to ensure insurance companies are directly accountable to individuals to keep their prices low and quality high.

The innovative work being advanced by your administration, including the changes to HRAs, the establishment of Association Health Plans (AHPs) and increasing price transparency in health care, is fostering needed competition in the health insurance industry. These changes will empower small businesses, families and individuals, while improving access to affordable and portable insurance tailored to their unique medical needs.

We look forward to working with you to advance efforts to continue expanding affordable health insurance choices.

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