Barletta Backs Three Health Care Bills in Committee

Mar 8, 2017
Press Release
House Education & The Workforce Committee Passes Bills to Protect American Workers and Their Families

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today supported the passage of three bill through the House Education and the Workforce Committee.  The three measures – the Small Business Health Fairness Act (H.R. 1101), the Self-Insurance Protection Act (H.R. 1304), and the Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act (H.R. 1313) – would provide small businesses with affordable health care options and would prevent bureaucratic overreach that limits access to innovative programs for American workers and their families. 

All three of the bills will be part of the larger effort to replace President Obama’s failing health care law with market-based and patient-centered reforms. 

“Small businesses have been hit hard by flawed mandates, soaring costs, and limited choices under Obamacare,” said Rep. Barletta.  “Many individuals do not have the luxury of employer-sponsored health coverage, on the sole basis that they are in fact their own boss.  I have heard from constituents across my district who are faced with this problem.” 

The Small Businesses Health Fairness Act would empower small businesses to pool together through association health plans to provide their employers affordable health benefits, placing them on a more level playing field with larger organizations.  The committee approved the measure by a vote of 22 to 17.

The Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act, which reaffirms that employee wellness programs are a tool that businesses can use to promote a healthy workforce and drive down costs for their employees, was also approved by a vote of 22 to 17.

“Employers should have as many tools as possible at their disposal to lower health care costs and promote a healthy workplace,” said Barletta.  “I am pleased that we took steps today to provide employers with the legal certainty they need to continue to offer employee wellness plans.”

The third bill, the Self-Insurance Protection Act, which passed by voice vote, reaffirms long-standing policies that ensure that employers who choose to self-insure may continue to do so, without fear of facing duplicative and harmful regulations. 

Members of the House of Representatives are currently reviewing the American Heath Care Act as an alternative to replace Obamacare and reform our failing health care system by lowering costs and increasing patient flexibility.  Congressman Barletta will continue to support policies that make health care more affordable for hard-working Americans and their families.