WINSTON-SALEM – In an op-ed for the Winston-Salem Journal, state senators Joyce Krawiec and Dan Bishop, both Republicans, outline the key moving parts of The Small Business Healthcare Act, a bill they introduced last month to increase access to, and lower the costs of health insurance for up to 110,000 North Carolinians.
No, the legislation does not create another subsidized, government mandated plan like some other recent “Republican” proposals for expanding health insurance coverage; the Small Business Healthcare Act is actually conservative.
Instead, it removes some arbitrary government regulations so as to let small businesses take advantage of free market principles to achieve better price points and access to health insurance. It, along with similar plans in other states, has been lauded in Forbes for its potential to lower costs while expanding liberty. This is exactly what was anticipated by U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and President Donald Trump when the teamed up last year to expand access to Association Health Plans.
But it’s best to let Sens. Bishop and Krawiec tell you about it, themselves.
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From Winston-Salem Journal:
“Imagine small businesses being able to provide a comprehensive health insurance package to their employees on par with any fortune 500 company.
While that may sound like a fantasy, we made that one step closer to reality with the Small Business Health Care Act.
The Small Business Health Care act would provide small businesses a cost-effective health insurance solution for themselves and their employees. It would give them the option to come together to form Association Health Plans, allowing them to be classified as one “large employer” for the purpose of offering health benefits to their members which will include numerous state and federal consumer protections.
There are 890,398 small businesses in our state, spanning all types of industries, and they employ 1.6 million of our hardworking neighbors. These businesses drive North Carolina’s economy and need all of the tools we can give them to compete in the free market with the mega-corporations that they are up against in today’s global economy.
And legislative Republicans have fostered that entrepreneurial spirit by instituting reforms since 2011 that have allowed small businesses to thrive in North Carolina. We have reduced the tax burden, reformed the tax code and strengthened our business climate — empowering the private sector to create new jobs and drive down unemployment.
But despite all of that, health insurance is still a cost that many of our small businesses struggle with. While businesses with less than 51 employees are not required by law to offer health insurance benefits, studies show that a number of them choose not to offer coverage due to the steep costs.
This is because small businesses don’t enjoy the same advantages as large businesses when it comes to offering health benefits to their employees. Unlike a massive corporation such as Microsoft which has an enormous insurance pool to drive down their costs, a small internet startup may only have a pool of 10 or 15 employees. That’s where the Small Business Health Care Act comes in. [… ]”