Graves, Tom
Garrett Hawkins 202-225-5211

Healthcare Rescue Mission Begins

House Passes Bills to Increase Competition in Health Insurance Industry, Help Small Businesses Provide Health Insurance Coverage

Washington, Mar 22 -

Beginning the healthcare reform process, the House passed the Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act (H.R. 372) and the Small Business Health Fairness Act (H.R. 1101). These bills are part of Phase 3 of President Trump’s healthcare plan.

H.R. 372 ends the health insurance industry’s exemption from antitrust and unfair trade practices laws, which were originally enacted to protect new health insurance companies and ensure state authority over insurance.

Speaking of H.R. 372, Rep. Graves (R-GA-14) said, “It’s Economics 101 that competition reduces prices and improves quality. In 2017, health insurance companies have no business being exempted from antitrust laws, which prevent monopolies and ensure fair competition in the marketplace. Anyone who believes in the free market should support this commonsense reform.”

H.R. 1101 would allow small businesses to pool together to create Association Health Plans, which would reduce the cost of insurance by creating larger pools for small businesses.  

Concerning H.R. 1101, Rep. Graves said, “Association Health Plans will help small businesses provide affordable health insurance for employees and their families. They will put small business on a level playing field with large corporations, which can provide health insurance cheaper because they have more employees. This innovative idea could help thousands of small businesses across the country provide insurance for their employees.”    

President Trump’s healthcare plan has three concurrent phases:

1. The American Health Care Act, which repeals Obamacare's taxes and mandates, and replaces them with expanded Health Saving Accounts and age-based tax credits to help low- and middle-income families in the individual market purchase health insurance; additionally, the bill makes significant reforms to Medicaid, such as allowing states to receive federal funds through block grants and pursue work requirements for able-bodied adults without dependents;

2. Administrative Actions, which Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price will take to eliminate harmful regulations and allow more choice and competition in the health insurance marketplace;

3. Additional Legislation, to increase competition and expand access to care, including the legislation the House passed today, H.R. 372 and H.R. 1101.

On Thursday, the House is scheduled to consider Phase 1 of the president’s plan, the American Health Care Act (H.R. 1628).