Chao Sends Congrats to Senate AHP Sponsors

February 18, 2005 ( - US Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao on Friday released a statement applauding a US Senate group for introducing a bill to allow small groups to buy health care coverage collectively in Association Health Plans (AHPs).

>The Senate bill, sponsored by Senators Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), Kit Bond (R-Missouri), Jim Talent (R-Missouri), Robert Byrd (D-West Virginia), Elizabeth Dole (R-North Carolina), John McCain (R-Arizona), Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-Texas), John Vitter (R-Louisiana) and Mel Martinez (R-Florida), is a companion to a bill introduced in the US House earlier this month by a bipartisan House coalition (See  Congressional Group Reintroduces Association Health Plan Bill ).

“I want to commend the Senate for acting quickly to re-introduce bipartisan legislation to create Association Health Plans (AHPs) and help make health insurance more affordable for millions of America’s workers and their families,” Chao said in the statement. “Association Health Plans will provide more choices, increase access to quality care and reduce the cost of health coverage. The legislation also contains strong protections to deter fraud so benefits will be available when workers need them. This legislation is especially necessary for the nation’s millions of small businesses, creating a level playing field and giving them the same benefits of administrative savings, negotiating clout, and uniform regulation enjoyed by large businesses and labor unions.”

For more information about Association Health Plans and the broad coalition that supports AHPs, see .