What: All Issues : Health Care : Access to Health Insurance : H.R. 660. Health Plans for Small Businesses/Passage of a Bill Which Would Exempt Small Businesses from State Laws Regulating the Quality of Employee Health Plans.
 Who: All Members
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H.R. 660. Health Plans for Small Businesses/Passage of a Bill Which Would Exempt Small Businesses from State Laws Regulating the Quality of Employee Health Plans.
house Roll Call 296     Jun 19, 2003
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Conservative

The subject of this vote was final passage of GOP-drafted legislation that would enable small businesses to consolidate their resources before purchasing so-called "association" health insurance plans for their employees. While Progressives support the goal of allowing small businesses to combine their resources in purchasing health insurance plans, they opposed the GOP-drafted bill because language in that bill would exempt association plans from state laws. Progressives noted that many state laws are designed to protect individuals against illness by requiring that health plans cover specific diseases such as breast cancer, autism, and mental illness. Progressives argued that exempting association plans from state laws would enable employers to provide health plans to their employees which contain gaping holes in coverage for diseases and other health problems. Progressives were also concerned that exempting association plans from state law would provide employers with a financial incentive to switch from more comprehensive health plans that provide coverage for a wide range of diseases and health conditions to less-expensive plans that do not provide workers with the same level of protection against health problems as did their previous health insurance policy. Progressives voted in opposition to the legislation but the measure was adopted on a 262-162 vote.

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