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Providing quality health care benefits is a top priority for ABC and its member companies. Throughout the health care reform debate, ABC advocated for policies that reduce the cost of health care for employers and their employees. ABC called on Congress to advance common-sense proposals that would address the skyrocketing costs of health insurance, especially for employer-sponsored plans and the rapidly rising number of uninsured Americans. ABC believes true reform should provide greater choice and affordability and allow private insurers to compete for business.

ABC Addresses Rising Health Care Costs

On Feb. 28, ABC, as a member of the Partnership for Employer-sponsored Coverage, sent a letter to Sen. Lamar Alexander, chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, providing recommendations on how to address America’s rising health care costs.

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ABC Supports DOL Proposals on ARPs and HRAs

On Dec. 21, ABC submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration in support of its proposed rule to allow small and mid-sized businesses to band together and offer 401(k) plans to their employees through association retirement plans.

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Association Health Plans a Common-sense Solution, ABC Tells DOL

On March 6, ABC submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration saying that association health plans provide a common-sense solution to increasing access to health care for individuals and reduce the burden on small businesses that have been affected by the Affordable Care Act. 

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DOL Publishes Proposed Rule on Association Health Plans

On Jan. 5, the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Employee Benefits Security Administration published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register on the expansion of Association Health Plans (AHPs). According to a DOL press release, the proposed rule would increase access for small businesses to offer employment-based health insurance through AHPs and give access to 11 million small business employees/sole proprietors and their families who do not have employer-sponsored insurance. 

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Health Care Alert: “Skinny Repeal” Rejected in Senate

During the early hours of July 28, Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine), John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) voted “no” on the Senate Republican’s “skinny repeal” proposal, a scaled-back version of previously supported Senate Republican Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal bills, which failed by a vote of 49 to 51. If the vote on final passage had been successful, it would likely have triggered a conference committee with the House of Representatives whereby the chambers would have tried to resolve their legislative differences. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.Y) statement on the failed vote can be read here.  

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ABC Supports DOL Proposals on ARPs and HRAs

On Dec. 21, ABC submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration in support of its proposed rule to allow small and mid-sized businesses to band together and offer 401(k) plans to their employees through association retirement plans.

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IRS Issues Guidance on Small Business Health Care Tax Credit

On April 27, the Internal Revenue Service issued guidance on providing relief for certain small businesses that wish to claim the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit for 2017 and later years.

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Association Health Plans a Common-sense Solution, ABC Tells DOL

On March 6, ABC submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration saying that association health plans provide a common-sense solution to increasing access to health care for individuals and reduce the burden on small businesses that have been affected by the Affordable Care Act. 

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DOL Publishes Proposed Rule on Association Health Plans

On Jan. 5, the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Employee Benefits Security Administration published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register on the expansion of Association Health Plans (AHPs). According to a DOL press release, the proposed rule would increase access for small businesses to offer employment-based health insurance through AHPs and give access to 11 million small business employees/sole proprietors and their families who do not have employer-sponsored insurance. 

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Republicans Release New Health Care Proposals

On Oct. 17, Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) announced a short-term deal aimed at stabilizing the individual health insurance market and lowering the costs of premiums.

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Webcast: Compliance Assistance on Health Reimbursement Arrangements Final Rule

On Sept. 12, the U.S. Department of Labor and the Internal Revenue Service will hold a webcast providing employers with compliance assistance on the joint final rule on health reimbursement arrangements.  

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ABC Comments on U.S. House Surprise Billing Draft Legislation

On May 28, as part of the Partnership for the Employer-Sponsored Coverage, ABC signed on to a letter to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee supporting legislation to combat surprise billing in health care and providing key insight on the committee’s draft proposals.

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ABC Addresses Rising Health Care Costs

On Feb. 28, ABC, as a member of the Partnership for Employer-sponsored Coverage, sent a letter to Sen. Lamar Alexander, chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, providing recommendations on how to address America’s rising health care costs.

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ABC Urges Congress to Pass Bills to Address Health Care Costs

ABC urged the U.S. House of Representatives to pass two bills that would modernize vital health care programs and provide much-needed relief to small businesses and their employees, designating them as key votes for its scorecard on the 115th Congress on July 23.

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House Committee Holds Markup on Bills to Expand Consumer-directed Health Care and Lower Premiums

On July 11, the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee held a full committee markup of numerous health care bills aimed at expanding access to health savings accounts (HSAs) and lowering health care premiums for American employers and employees.

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ABC-Opposed Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act Voted on in Committee

On Sept. 25, the U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor held a markup on H.R. 2474, the Protecting the Right to Organize, or PRO, Act.  During the markup, representatives debated the merits of the bill and sought to add and remove provisions. Each amendment submitted by Democrats passed, while those submitted by Republicans failed via a party line vote. 

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Pair of Republican Candidates Win North Carolina Congressional Special Elections

On Tuesday, Sept. 10, Republican special election candidates Greg Murphy and Dan Bishop won their highly anticipated respective congressional campaigns in North Carolina.

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ABC-led Coalition Testifies in Opposition to the PRO Act

On July 25, the ABC-led Coalition for a Democratic Workplace testified before a House subcommittee on the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (H.R. 2474), which would jeopardize workers’ privacy, constitutional rights and freedoms if passed. This legislation currently has 186 Democrat cosponsors and is essentially a “union boss wish list,” as Ranking Member Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) described it in his opening statement.

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Rep. Foxx Reintroduces Highway Trust Fund Reform Act With Davis-Bacon Exemption

ABC supports the Highway Trust Fund Reform Act of 2019 (H.R. 3904), legislation introduced on July 24 by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) that would exempt federally funded or federally assisted Highway Trust Fund projects from federal Davis-Bacon requirements, known as prevailing wage. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that repealing Davis-Bacon would save the Federal Highway Administration more than $700 million a year.

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Senate Committee Approves Bill to End Surprise Medical Billing

On June 26, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee approved the Lower Health Care Costs Act (S. 1895) by a bipartisan vote of 20-3. This bill seeks to address several cost-driver issues within our nation’s health care system including protecting patients from surprise medical billing and increasing transparency within health care.

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