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House Passes AHP Bill

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed legislation which expands the availability of Association Health Plans (AHPs), allowing small businesses to pool together across state...
August 2, 2005

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed legislation which expands the availability of Association Health Plans (AHPs), allowing small businesses to pool together across state lines through trade associations to purchase health insurance from a provider, or self-insure in the same manner as large employers and labor unions. The vote to approve the Small Business Fairness Act was 263-165. The measure has passed the House several times in recent years but has always faced opposition in the Senate.

Backers say the measure would restrain health costs and help cover some of the millions of uninsured working people. Critics said this approach could provide bare-bones insurance to some workers and leave others facing even higher bills.  As envisioned in the legislation, AHPs would not be regulated by the states.  The NAIC, National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL), the National Governors Association and a host of major health insurers all oppose AHPs.

House OKs Small Business Health Plan (Reuters 7/27)

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