House to Review Health Care Reform for Small Businesses
President Donald Trump will meet with House Republicans Tuesday to rally support for the Republican health care bill. He met with a crowd of thousands Monday evening in Kentucky, calling on lawmakers to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act or lose their seats in 2018. The House is expected to vote on the legislation Thursday.
“We want a very big tax cut, but cannot do that until we keep our promise to repeal and replace the disaster known as ‘Obamacare,’” Trump said.
The American Health Care Act is the first in a three-part plan to reform health care. For small business owners, the reformed legislation would mean reduced health care costs and a move in a pro-market direction through expanded HSAs. The second phase of reform is also underway, with the Department of Health and Human Services reviewing ways to stabilize individual and small group health insurance markets which are critical for small businesses and the self-employed.
The House is set to review several bills in the third phase of reform in the weeks to come. Focused on increasing patient choice and market competition and preventing abusive medical lawsuits, this phase of legislation is also focused on easing health care costs for small business owners.
The Small Business Health Fairness Act of 2017, which allows small businesses to pool together and purchase Association Health Plans (AHPs), is slated for review by the House this week. The legislation would increase small business owners’ purchasing power to negotiate better premiums for their workers. Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and business groups including the National Retail Federation and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have expressed support for the bill, hoping it will spur more small business owners to offer health care coverage to employees.
In a letter to two House representatives, business groups offered support for the Small Business Health Fairness Act. “The rising cost of health insurance remains a major problem for small business owners,” the group wrote. “Establishing health insurance benefits through associations will make coverage more affordable by spreading risk among a much larger group, strengthening negotiating power with plans and providers, and reducing administrative costs.”