What the Bill is
The Small Business Health Fairness Act (H.R. 1101) is the first step toward allowing the purchase of insurance across state lines. Big businesses already have the numbers and power to do this, but how can a small business with ten or 20 employees be expected to negotiate with large insurers like Aetna or Humana and get the best deal?
By allowing small businesses to band together across state lines and negotiate with health insurance providers, small businesses can get on equal footing to large employers. As a result, small businesses and workers can receive better health insurance at a lower cost. That’s why the White House has indicated the President would sign this bill into law when it gets to his desk.
Why this Bill
It’s blunt but true: small businesses have been devastated by Obamacare.
- Astonishingly, 95% of small businesses have reported increased health insurance costs over the past five years.
- Around 10,000 small businesses closed down, costing 300,000 jobs because of Obamacare.
- Over a third—36%—of small businesses with fewer than 10 employees have stopped offering health care coverage since 2008.
- The Health Insurance Tax (HIT) alone will unfairly hurt small businesses and their workers, forcing families to pay $5,000 in higher premiums over the next ten years, according to the American Action Forum. Half of that increase will be paid by Americans who earn between $10,000 and $50,000 per year.
Rising costs and unreasonable regulations have taken a wrecking ball to small business health insurance. The Small Business Health Fairness Act will help by increasing the negotiating power of small businesses so they can bring down health insurance costs for their employees.
Leader McCarthy said this:
“As a former small business owner, I know small businesses owners want to offer their employees health insurance. Employees in a small business are like family, and small businesses care about the health and well-being of those who work for them. This legislation levels the playing field for small businesses, giving them the freedom to unify and negotiate the best deal across state lines together.”
The Three Phases of Health Care Reform
The Small Business Health Fairness Act is just the start of phase three of our continued efforts to reform our health care system. Phase one, the American Health Care Act, accomplishes everything we are able to accomplish to create a patient-centered, free-market system through the budget reconciliation process, and phase two makes improvements through administrative actions from Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price to stabilize the markets, provide greater consumer choice, and bring down costs.
As Leader McCarthy said last week:
“Though reconciliation is a powerful legislative tool, we have always acknowledged that we must move separate legislation to fully repeal and replace Obamacare with a patient-centered, free-market system. In the weeks to come, we will consider several bills to increase patient choice and market competition and prevent abusive medical lawsuits. These bills are just the beginning of phase three of our continued efforts to reform our health care system so it works for the American people.”