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Bush Calls for Action on Association Health Plans

President Bush has called for Congress to pass legislation to encourage the formation of Association Health Plans (AHPs). Speaking to women small business owners on...
January 13, 2004

President Bush has called for Congress to pass legislation to encourage the formation of Association Health Plans (AHPs). Speaking to women small business owners on January 9, Bush said "We need association health care plans to allow small businesses to pool the risk across jurisdictional boundaries. Congress must act." AHPs would enable small businesses to join multistate health coverage purchasing groups. Such groups might be exempt from most state health insurance mandates. AHPs are opposed by critics, including many carriers, who say they would weaken state oversight of health insurance.

What It Means to Agents: This bill may see action this year. In the last session of Congress, the U.S. House of Representatives approved H.R. 660, the Small Business Health Fairness Act, 262-162. In the Senate, a similar bill (S. 545) was introduced by Senator Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) but didn't make it out of committee.

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