Thompson Votes to Pass Important Health Insurance Reforms

Mar 22, 2017 Issues: Healthcare

Measures promote competitive and innovative coverage

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson today voted in favor of two bills that will make important reforms to the healthcare industry.

The Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act will reduce healthcare costs for consumers by ensuring competition in the health insurance industry.

The Small Business Health Fairness Act will make it easier for small businesses to promote a healthy workforce and offer more affordable healthcare coverage.

“These bills both make important reforms that will encourage innovation when it comes to coverage, allowing for association health plans across state lines,” Thompson said. “I was pleased to vote in favor of these commonsense proposals, which will continue to improve our health care system."

ABOUT THE BILLS

H.R 372 – Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act

H.R. 372 would apply federal antitrust laws to health insurance providers to increase competitiveness in the healthcare industry.

  • Currently, under the McCarran-Ferguson Act, health insurance providers are exempt from federal antitrust regulations and are regulated at the state level.
  • H.R. 372 removes the exemption for the business of health insurance and applies uniform federal antitrust laws.
  • By repealing the exemption, competition will increase in the health care market and help lower the costs for consumers.

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H.R. 1101 – Small Business Health Fairness Act

H.R. 1101 improves access to affordable healthcare coverage for small business employees.

  • The Affordable Care Act’s costs and mandates have reduced options for employees to get affordable health care coverage.
  • Large businesses and unions are able to negotiate for more affordable health care through a qualified group health plan under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).
  • H.R. 1101 creates association health plans (AHPs) which will allow small businesses to band together across state lines and negotiate for lower health care costs for their employees.
  • AHPs will be able to increase the bargaining power of small businesses to purchase health insurance and level the playing field with large businesses and unions.
  • The bill also relieves small businesses from costly state-mandated benefit laws that make coverage prohibitively expensive.