Houses Passes Bipartisan Bills to Lower Health Insurance Costs

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Houses Passes Bipartisan Bills to Lower Health Insurance Costs

Legislation Will Help Small Businesses Offer Employees Health Plans, Boost Competition in Insurance Marketplace

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today voted for two bipartisan bills as part of efforts to repair the nation’s health care system.

“The bipartisan bills we passed today will help individuals and families access affordable health care by giving small businesses more leverage to negotiate health coverage for their employees and boosting competition in the insurance marketplace,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “In combination with the American Health Care Act, these bills will create a better health care system that lowers costs, increases choice, and puts patients first.”

BACKGROUND

The Small Business Health Fairness Act (H.R. 1101), which passed the House by a vote of 236 to 175, would allow small businesses to band together across state lines to offer their employees insurance through association health plans (AHPs). These AHPs would give small businesses more power to negotiate for lower health care costs, leveling the playing field with large businesses and unions.

The Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act (H.R. 372), which passed the House by a vote of 416 to 7, would eliminate antitrust exemptions for insurance providers. This would restore fair competition, protect consumers from consolidation in the insurance market, and lower health care costs.

Congress and the Trump administration are working to repeal Obamacare and repair our nation’s health care system through a three-phase process:

  • The first phase, the American Health Care Act, repeals Obamacare through budget reconciliation and begins a stable transition to a patient-centered system.
  • The second phase includes administrative actions by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price to stabilize insurance markets and bring down costs.
  • The third phase is the passage of additional legislation, beginning with today’s bills, to further improve access to affordable health care.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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