Barletta Votes to Empower Small Businesses and Workers through Association Health Plans

Mar 22, 2017
Press Release
Part of Multi-Step Process to Repeal and Replace Obamacare

WASHINGTON – Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) today voted for The Small Business Health Fairness Act, H.R. 1101, which empowers small businesses to pool together through association health plans and provide their employees with affordable health benefits.  The bill, which passed the House with bipartisan support by a vote of 236-175, is part of the multi-step process Congress is taking to repeal and replace Obamacare with a mix of legislative and regulatory action to drive down costs and increase choice for consumers.

“Small businesses have been hit especially hard by Obamacare’s flawed mandates, soaring costs, and limited choices,” Barletta said.  “Association health plans are an important part of our ongoing efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare with free market solutions.  This bill will help employers provide their workers with affordable, quality health insurance.

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, H.R. 1101, 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.

In a recent House Education and the Workforce Committee hearing on employer-based health care reforms, Barletta stressed that Congress should continue to consider innovative solutions to lower coverage costs, such as empowering small businesses to pool together across state lines.  President Obamacare’s health care law largely took this this option away from employers in Pennsylvania, making it harder for small businesses to secure coverage for their workers.  For example, the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau once offered an association health plan to almost half of their farmers, until Obamacare prohibited them from continuing to do so.  This ultimately raised the cost of coverage for many hard-working famers and their families.

As the process to repeal and replace Obamacare moves forward, Barletta will continue to support policies that lower the cost of health care for hard-working Americans and their families.

Click here to watch Barletta speak at the recent House Education and the Workforce Committee Hearing.