On March 6, as part of the U.S. House of Representatives Republicans' American Health Care Act, the House Committees on Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce issued proposals to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.  The committees will mark up their bills on Wednesday, March 8 and then send the proposals to the Budget Committee.

Further information about the proposals can be found here:
ABC staff is currently reviewing the proposals and a detailed analysis will be forthcoming in Newsline.

Association Health Plans
 
The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce marked up the Small Business Health Fairness Act (H.R. 1101), which would allow small businesses access to quality, affordable health care coverage through Association Health Plans (AHPs). ABC sent a letter to Committee Chairwoman Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) and Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-Va.) to express its support for the legislation.

In addition, ABC and several other organizations sent a letter to Representatives Sam Johnson (R-Texas) and Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) thanking them for their leadership in introducing the legislation on Feb. 28.

The letter emphasized that rising health care costs continue to be a major problem for small businesses and as a result, fewer employers and working families can afford coverage. In 2015, 25 percent fewer small businesses offered health insurance, compared to when the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010.

AHPs are a common-sense solution to lowering the cost of health care for small businesses. AHPs allow small businesses to band together through bona fide trade associations to purchase health insurance and will help to level the playing field and lower insurance costs. AHPs can reduce health insurance costs by allowing small businesses to join together nationwide to obtain the same economies of scale, bargaining clout and administrative efficiencies now available to employees in large employer and union plans.  

ABC has consistently supported Association Health Plans. In 1957, ABC established an association health benefits plan and for over 40 years offered insurance plans to ABC members, many of whom were small business owners. However, in 2001, ABC was forced to discontinue its health insurance portion of association health plans due to incompatible and inconsistent state laws, making it too expensive to provide coverage.  

ABC will continue to update members on the status of H.R. 1101 through Newsline.