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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.

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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Senate Begins Debate to Repeal the Affordable Care Act

On July 25, the U.S. Senate voted to begin debate on the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Senate voted 51-50, with Vice President Mike Pence breaking the tie, in support of moving forward with debate on H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act. In advance of the vote, ABC sent a key vote letter urging senators to vote “yes” on the motion to proceed. The Senate will now move forward with 20 hours of debate and most likely vote on dozens of amendments.

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House Passes ABC-supported American Health Care Act

The U.S. House of Representatives took steps to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act by passing H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act (AHCA) on May 4. H.R. 1628 repeals several of the most harmful and burdensome provisions of the ACA, including the employer mandate penalty, costly tax increases and limitations on contributions to and restrictions on the use of flexible spending accounts and health savings accounts. ABC sent a letter in support of H.R. 1628 to the U.S. House of Representatives, which passed the House by a vote of 217-213. The bill now awaits action in the U.S. Senate.

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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. 

Read More

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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HHS Delays SHOP Online Enrollment for Small Employers

The U.S. Health and Human Services Department (HHS) Nov. 27 announced that online enrollment for small businesses in the federally-facilitated Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace will be delayed one year until November 2014.  

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Read More About Insurance Exchanges

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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Health Insurance Tax Suspended in Stopgap Spending Bill

On Jan. 22, President Trump signed a stopgap spending bill (H.R.195) to end the government shutdown and fund government operations through Feb. 8. Included in the bill was a suspension for 2019 of the health insurance tax (HIT) on providers included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. 

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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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Senate Vote on Health Care Bill Delayed

On June 22, the U.S. Senate issued the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017, a substitute to the House-passed American Health Care Act (AHCA), which would repeal and replace several provisions of the Affordable Care Act. The Senate bill was slated for a vote this week; however, on June 27 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) delayed the vote until after the July 4 recess due to a lack of support for passage. 

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CBO Releases Report on House-passed AHCA

On May 24, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report with estimates on the costs and overall effect of H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act. This is the third report to come from the CBO since the bill was introduced in March. If the U.S. Senate passes the bill in its current form, the CBO estimates that the bill would reduce the federal deficit by $119 billion between 2017 and 2026 – $32 billion less than the original bill would have reduced. 

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ABC Joins Employers in Coalition to Protect Employer-sponsored Health Care

On March 20, 2018, ABC joined leading employer organizations to form the Partnership for Employer-Sponsored Coverage (P4ESC). The coalition will work to strengthen and protect employment-based health care coverage and will champion solutions to protect these benefits for hardworking Americans.

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Health Insurance Tax Suspended in Stopgap Spending Bill

On Jan. 22, President Trump signed a stopgap spending bill (H.R.195) to end the government shutdown and fund government operations through Feb. 8. Included in the bill was a suspension for 2019 of the health insurance tax (HIT) on providers included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. 

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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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No Vote in Senate on Latest ACA Repeal Bill

On Sept. 26, U.S. Senate leadership announced there will not be a vote on the latest version of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal bill. Named after its four sponsors, the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson bill aimed to repeal parts of the ACA and change its federal funding system with annual block grants to states to help individuals pay for health care.

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Senate Begins Debate to Repeal the Affordable Care Act

On July 25, the U.S. Senate voted to begin debate on the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Senate voted 51-50, with Vice President Mike Pence breaking the tie, in support of moving forward with debate on H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act. In advance of the vote, ABC sent a key vote letter urging senators to vote “yes” on the motion to proceed. The Senate will now move forward with 20 hours of debate and most likely vote on dozens of amendments.

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