You are here:HomeIssuesHealth Care Reform2006Survey: Most Small Business Employees Oppose Enzi AHP Bill; N.H. Gov. Joins Foes

Survey: Most Small Business Employees Oppose Enzi AHP Bill; N.H. Gov. Joins Foes

More than two-thirds of small business employees are opposed to the passage of S.1955, the Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act sponsored by Senator...
May 9, 2006

More than two-thirds of small business employees are opposed to the passage of S.1955, the Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act sponsored by Senator Michael Enzi (R-WY), according to a recent Zogby poll. The survey also revealed small business employees are extremely wary of health insurance reform legislation that would supersede state regulations.

The Enzi AHP legislation would allow insurance companies and small businesses to vary health insurance premiums for individuals and small businesses by preempting state insurance laws.  These existing state laws, which vary from state to state, include requirements for certain basic benefits, consumer protections, and in some states, community rating for small groups.  Community rating prohibits health insurers from charging employers different premiums based on their type of industry or the age, health status and gender-mix of their employees.

Of those surveyed, there was widespread concern across all age groups about insurance premiums increasing for older employees. Eighty percent did not believe that older employees should pay higher insurance premiums than younger employees. Seventy percent said that the cost of health care should be spread evenly across employees, regardless of their age, occupation or medical history. Seventy-one percent do not feel that health insurance companies should be allowed to charge higher premiums to small businesses that have a high percentage of employees with existing health problems. And by a 2-to-1 margin (61% verses 28%), small business employees do not think that Congress should pass a law that would allow health insurance companies to avoid state insurance regulation.

On Tuesday May 2, New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch joined a chorus of state leaders opposing the Enzi bill. On Monday May 8, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) said S. 1955 would permit discrimination in health insurance based on age, sex, occupation and/or health status. 

What It Means to Agents:  Following passage in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in March, the PIA National Regulatory Affairs Committee (RAC) unanimously passed a motion recommending that the Federal Affairs Committee (FAC) monitor the progress of S. 1955. The bill is strongly opposed by many insurance groups because it actively undermines the principle of state regulation of insurance. PIA strongly supports state regulation of insurance.

American Cancer Society Conducts Grassroots Campaign Against AHPs

 

Filed under: