Barletta Applauds Administration’s Decision to Expand Healthcare Access for Small Businesses, Families

Jan 4, 2018
Press Release

HAZLETON – Today, the U.S. Department of Labor announced a proposed rule expanding the opportunity for small businesses to offer health insurance though Association Health Plans.  The notice will begin a 60 day comment period.  Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) released the following statement to commend the administration’s actions.

“As Congress continues to work to repeal and replace Obamacare, the steps taken by the administration are important to allow for businesses to expand high-quality health insurance through Association Health Plans,” Barletta said.  “I have long pointed toward the success of groups like the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, who, prior to the implementation of Obamacare, provided health insurance to nearly half of their farmers.  Obamacare outlawed similar consumer choice and market flexibility.  The law’s one-size-fits-all structure has made insurance available, but access to the underlying healthcare unaffordable.  It is, in effect, a scam.  Allowing the market to expand health insurance is a critical principle of reform as we continue to repeal and replace the failing Obamacare system.”

The House of Representatives has taken similar steps to bring freedom of choice back into the health insurance market.  On March 22, 2017, the House voted for the Small Business Health Fairness Act, H.R. 1101which passed with bipartisan support by a vote of 236 to 175.

Due to their size, large businesses and labor organizations have the ability to negotiate lower costs for high-quality health care for their employees.  Small businesses are unable to band together to achieve the same bargaining power.  The Small Business Health Fairness Act places small businesses on a more level playing field with larger organizations by allowing them greater ability to negotiate for lower health care costs for their employees.

“Congress took a significant step to repeal Obamacare in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act by ending the law’s ‘individual mandate,’ a punishment on low-income Americans who choose not to purchase health insurance.  Freedom of choice is the only way forward for high-quality and affordable access to healthcare for Americans.”

Click HERE to watch Barletta question witnesses at a House Education and the Workforce Committee Hearing on the past success of Association Health Plans from the experience groups like the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau.