Association Health Plan Legislation Needed to Stem Rising Number of Uninsured
Following release of a new government report showing that the number of Americans without health insurance continues to climb, NAHB last week called on the Congress to move rapidly to enact association health plan legislation to help relieve the nation’s health care crisis.
“Clearly, association health plans represent a sound strategy to help alleviate the rising number of uninsured and soaring healthcare costs over the past decade that have driven many small businesses out of the health insurance market entirely,” said NAHB President Bobby Rayburn.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of Americans who currently have no health coverage has risen from 43.6 million last year to 45 million, representing 15.6% of the population. Approximately 60% of the uninsured are in families headed by an employee of a small business.
To correct this situation, Senate bill S. 545 — sponsored by Senators Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Robert Byrd (D-WV), Christopher Bond (R-MO), Norm Coleman (R-MN), Elizabeth Dole (R-NC), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), John McCain (R-AZ), Jim Talent (R-MO) and Arlen Specter (R-PA) — would allow small business owners to band together across state lines through membership in a bona fide local, state or national trade association to leverage their size, just as large businesses and unions do, to negotiate lower insurance costs and more options.