What: All Issues : Health Care : Access to Health Insurance : H.R. 660. Health Plans for Small Businesses/Vote on Democratic Substitute Bill Which Would Provide Employees of Small Businesses with Similar Health Protections as Those Offered in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan, a Comprehensive Health Plan for Federal Workers. (2003 house Roll Call 294)
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H.R. 660. Health Plans for Small Businesses/Vote on Democratic Substitute Bill Which Would Provide Employees of Small Businesses with Similar Health Protections as Those Offered in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan, a Comprehensive Health Plan for Federal Workers.
house Roll Call 294     Jun 19, 2003
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Loss

During House debate on a GOP-drafted bill which would allow small businesses to pool their resources and purchase socalled "association" health plans for their employees, Congressman Kind (D-WI) proposed a substitute bill on behalf of the Democratic party which would have allowed employers with fewer than 100 employees to participate in a Small Employer Health Benefits Plan. That small employer plan would be tailored after the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan; a comprehensive health care plan for federal employees that provides coverage for a wide range of health problems. The proposed small employer plan would have required employers to pay at least fifty-percent of their employees' premium costs and mandated that coverage be available to all employees who have worked at the company for over three months. Progressives supported the Democratic bill because, in their view, that bill provided employees with better health coverage and offered stronger safeguards against cost-cutting employers than the GOP-drafted measure. Moreover, Progressives were concerned that providing association plans with exemptions from state law would provide employers with financial incentives to switch from more comprehensive health plans that cover a wide range of diseases and health conditions to less-expensive plans that provide workers with weaker health care coverage. Republicans voted unanimously in opposition to the Democratic bill and the measure was defeated on a 196-226 vote.

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