Association Health Plans Won’t Cure What Ails Small Businesses

Morning Consult

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) may be a doctor, but he obviously doesn’t have the cure for what ails small businesses. During a discussion on health care policy in his home state, Paul said President Donald Trump is likely to legalize association health plans on the federal level, which would allow more groups of similar businesses to band together to purchase insurance. Paul claims this would allow small businesses to negotiate lower rates and insure more people, but what he and others who support this idea fail to understand is that these plans would actually do the opposite.

Some lawmakers, including Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) and Paul, have long touted association health plans as a great solution to the health care needs of small businesses. Unfortunately, Enzi and Paul simply don’t understand what would actually happen to insurance markets if these plans were ever widely available. Small businesses frequently buy plans through the small-group market, which is subject to different rules and protections than the large-group market. The regulatory difference between the two is significant. As a report by the Kaiser Family Foundation noted, plans sold in the large-group market can charge people more based on their health status, and they’re not required to cover essential health benefits like prescription drugs, emergency services or maternity care. However, Obamacare-compliant plans in the small-group market provide protections against being charged more based on health, age or gender and include these essential benefits.

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Stable Insurance Markets are Key to Small Business Success

Huffington Post

Despite months of speeches, speculation and tweets suggesting that the federal government would not continue to provide critical payments that support the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplaces, President Trump still has yet to announce a final decision on the future of cost-sharing reduction subsidies (CSRs), which help reduce out-of-pocket healthcare costs for low and moderate-income enrollees. While the president did agree to make the CSR payments for August, there is no telling what he will do in coming months, and his ongoing rhetoric about wanting to let the ACA collapse is hardly reassuring to small business owners and their employees who depend on the exchanges for coverage. This is why lawmakers must act now to pass bipartisan legislation that will strengthen the ACA marketplaces.
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GOP plays chicken with healthcare and small business pays the price

The Hill

The Republican Party’s healthcare game is a long con. For six years, conservatives demonized the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without offering a viable alternative. Then, when they gained control of Congress and the White House, they came up with the disastrous American Health Care Act (AHCA), which would strip 23 million Americans of their health insurance.

The cynic in me believes this deeply unpopular proposal is part of a plan to play chicken with our healthcare system, allowing Republicans to finally destroy their ACA nemesis. Unfortunately, this reckless strategy is unfolding at the expense of tens of millions of Americans, including the small businesses at the heart of the U.S. economy.

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GOP Efforts to Destabilize the ACA are Harming Small Businesses

Huffington Post

Whether or not Republicans eventually succeed in repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), it is increasingly obvious that the debate over the future of healthcare is creating so much uncertainty that irreparable damage may have already been done to the ACA. And even if the Republican replacement for the ACA, known as the American Health Care Act (AHCA), does become law it might end some of the uncertainty but it won’t bring any relief as 23 million Americans would lose their health coverage by 2026, while 54 million people would experience market destabilization through skyrocketing rates in some regions. This will have a catastrophic effect on our economy as a whole and severely damage small businesses that already face higher insurance costs than their big business counterparts.

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Despite What You’ve Read, Many Small Businesses Support Obamacare

Morning Consult

Small business owners are not some sort of single-minded monolith, but they are often treated that way. Stories pop up frequently with bold, broad-stroked claims like “small business optimism is soaring,” “small businesses get hefty tax cut in Trump plan” and “the president changed, so has small business’ confidence.” Now, the latest round of stories on the Republican attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act give the impression that America’s small businesses will be glad to see the ACA go if and when Congress manages to repeal it. While most small business owners agree there are portions of the ACA that can and should be improved, polling shows that a majority of small businesses actually prefer the current law over the GOP replacement plan, and that key provisions of the ACA are helping entrepreneurs succeed.

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