Sam Johnson Bill to Expand Health Care Coverage, Lower Costs for Small Businesses Passes Committee

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Washington, March 8, 2017 | comments

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today U.S. Congressman Sam Johnson’s (TX-03) bill, the Small Business Health Fairness Act (H.R. 1101) was passed by the Education and Workforce Committee.  This bill is part of a step-by-step process to replace the failed health care law with patient-centered solutions.  It would do so by empowering small businesses to join together through association health plans (AHPs) to provide their employees greater access to affordable health care.

“Due to Obamacare’s burdensome and expensive regulations, fewer and fewer American small businesses can afford to offer health care coverage – which in turn hurts American families,” Johnson said. “A commonsense way to help empower these small businesses is to allow them to join together when shopping for health care plans.  This will allow them to have the same strength in numbers as large businesses and labor organizations.  And the benefits will be real for hardworking American families.  With this bill’s Committee passage, we are one step closer toward fixing our broken health care system, which continues to remain one of my top priorities.”


Due to their size and economies of scale, large businesses and labor organizations have the ability to negotiate on behalf of employees for high-quality health care at more affordable costs. By offering a qualified group health plan under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), these large employers and labor organizations are also exempt from myriad state rules and regulations on health insurance.

However, small businesses do not have the same bargaining power as larger businesses. Small businesses are also unable to band together to increase their bargaining power in the health insurance marketplace. By allowing small businesses to join together through association health plans (AHPs), small businesses can have greater ability to negotiate for lower health care costs for their employees. 

To read H.R. 1101, click here.


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