House Panel Clears Small Biz Health Plan


A House committee June 12 cleared legislation that would enable small businesses to join together in nationwide health plans.

The U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce moved one step closer to significantly expanding access to health coverage for families across the country. According to a published report, Association Health Plan (AHP) legislation, which has received significant bipartisan support in the House and boasts more than 150 co-sponsors, was approved by a vote of 26-21.

The Small Business Health Fairness Act (H.R. 660) creates AHPs, which allow small businesses to band together through associations and purchase quality health care for workers and their families at a lower cost. It would put small businesses on equal footing with big corporations and labor unions by allowing them to buy insurance through trade associations such as the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association (NBFAA).

“Costs are rising, businesses are dropping coverage, and more people are going uninsured,” said Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Texas), one of the bill’s sponsors. Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), chairman of the Education and Workforce Committee, adds, “I have long felt that the most pressing crisis we face in health care today is the number of uninsured Americans, which currently stands at more than 41 million. And the problem is not going away.”

The measure has passed the House three times, so the real test will come in the Senate, where it has been ensnared in the long-running battle over a patients’ bill of rights.

Within the security industry, NBFAA is seeking support from its members in order to get this bill passed. Association members are being urged to contact members of the U.S. House of Representatives and tell them that small businesses need Association Health Plans (AHPs) to be able to continue to provide health insurance to their employees in the face of spiraling health care costs.

For more information on this issue and how to contact your local representative, visit For any questions, or need help drafting a letter to your legislator, contact NBFAA Government Affairs Director David Johnson at (301) 585-1855.

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